Other antitrust experts believe the fine levied on Google means European regulators are more likely to rein in other US technology companies such as Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Netflix as they win over more European consumers at the expense of homegrown companies. The commission didn’t spell out how Google should fix that and instead ordered it to comply with the “simple principle of giving equal treatment to revival comparison shopping services and its own service”. That’s a good thing.
The European Union imposed a 2.4 billion euro ($2.7 billion) fine on Alphabet (GOOGL)-unit Google, saying the technology giant skewed search results to benefits its own shopping search service vs. those of rivals.
If Google doesn’t stop the practice in 90 days, parent company Alphabet could be fined up to 5 percent of its average daily global turnover.
“It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits“, she said.
“As a result, competitors were much less likely to be clicked on”, she said.
“The EU’s identification of “super-dominance” in internet search throughout the European Economic Area is confirmed and will provide a cornerstone for assessment of other ongoing cases, especially regarding Android and AdSense“, said Jonas Koponen, competition chief at Linklaters law firm in Brussels. Results from other comparison shopping services appear lower down, and the commission found that in many instances they don’t appear until several pages back-severely impacting those sites’ traffic and ad revenue.
The EU’s move highlights divergence with US regulators in their approach to Google.
It is the biggest regulatory setback for Google, which settled with USA enforcers in 2013 with a requirement to stop “scraping” reviews and other data from rival websites for its own products.
The EU said the company broke EU’s antitrust rules and used their marker dominance to take an edge over the competitors. Walker said Google would review the decision in detail and consider an appeal.
A Commission investigation looked at Google’s market position in general internet search since 2008, and found it to be dominant in every country in that time – except the Czech Republic, where it found Google to have been dominant since 2011.
Google doesn’t accept the ruling and is tossing up an appeal.
“When you use Google to search for products, we try to give you what you’re looking for”.
Google said it “respectfully disagrees” with the EC decision. That’s why Google shows shopping ads, connecting our users with thousands of advertisers, large and small, in ways that are useful for both.
Google is still under investigation in two other cases.
“We believe the European Commission’s online shopping decision underestimates the value of those kinds of fast and easy connections”.