European Union antitrust regulators have announced a record fine of $ 2.7 billion against Alphabet’s Google for violations related to its Google Shopping.
The Commission said that the fine was calculated on the basis of Google’s revenue ($ 90 billion in 2016) compared to its comparison shopping service in the 13 EEA countries involved.
In addition to the fine, the Commission requires Google to stop alleged anti-competitive practices. Among the charges are:
- Google consistently provides a prominent place for your own shopping comparison service: When a consumer enters a query into the search engine, the results are displayed at or near the top of the search results.
- Google has downgraded third-party comparison services in its search results: rival comparison comparison services appear in Google’s search results based on generic Google search algorithms. Google has included a number of criteria in these algorithms, resulting in the downgrading of rivals. Evidence shows that even if the rival service is ranked higher, it appears on average only on the fourth page of Google’s search results, and others appear even lower. Google’s purchasing service is not subject to Google’s generic search algorithms.
Google recently commented on the European Union’s complaints:
“We continue to engage constructively with the European Commission and firmly believe that our innovations in online shopping have been beneficial to buyers, retailers and competitors,” a spokesman said.