EU fines Google $2.7bn for breaching competition rules

Google handed record €2.42bn fine for breaching competition rules in online shopping service.

    Margrethe Vestager demanded Google change its business model for Google Shopping [Emmanuel Dunand/AFP]
    Margrethe Vestager demanded Google change its business model for Google Shopping [Emmanuel Dunand/AFP]

    The European Union has imposed a record €2.42bn ($2.72bn) fine on technology giant Google, for abusing its dominance as a search engine by giving illegal advantage to its own shopping service.

    "What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules. It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate," Margrethe Vestager, the European commissioner for competition, said in a statement.

    "And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation."

    Brussels has given the US tech giant 90 days to change its business model for Google Shopping or face further penalty payments.

    READ MORE: Google honours Pakistan's 'Angel of Mercy'

    Vestager alleged that Google elevated its shopping service even when other options might have better deals.

    Google said it "respectfully" disagreed with the ruling. 

    "We will review the (European) Commission's decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case," Kent Walker, the company's senior vice president and general counsel, said in a statement.

    Google insisted that it "shows shopping ads, connecting our users with thousands of advertisers, large and small, in ways that are useful for both."

    The fine broke the previous EU record for a monopoly case against US chipmaker Intel of €1.06bn.

    The case, launched in 2010, is one of three against Google and of several against blockbuster US companies including Starbucks, Apple, Amazon and McDonalds.

    In the other Google cases, the EU is examining Google's AdSense advertising service and its Android mobile phone software.

    The rise of the tech titans - Counting the Cost

    SOURCE: News agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.