Google has been fined a record 2.42 billion Euros (around $2.72 billion) by the European Union antitrust regulators. The fine has been imposed on the company for abusing its market dominance. The European Commission has found Google offering illegal advantage to its own services and demoting rivals in search results.
The EU Commission has given Google 90 days to stop its misconduct or face further penalty. The penalty could be up to five percent of Alphabet's average daily global turnover. "What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules. It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate. And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation," European Union Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.
Reuters reports that the fine imposed by EU antitrust regulators is equivalent to 3 percent of Alphabet's turnover. The 2.42 billion Euro fine is the single largest fine ever imposed on a company by the EU antitrust regulators. The EU antitrust regulators had previously imposed a fine of 1.06 billion Euro on the Intel Corporation for anti-competitive practices.
The decision announced today is first of the three investigations looking into Google's anticompetitive practices in dominating search and smartphones in the European Union. The commission also claims that Google is using its Android mobile operating system to defeat rivals in the search business. In the past, Google settled a similar antitrust lawsuit with US regulators in 2013 by tweaking its search practices. The EU Commission has not shared any guidelines on what Google needs to change in its search policy, but Google has confirmed its plan to appeal against today's decision.
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