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Google Hit With $2.7 Billion Fine by European Antitrust Monitor

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Margrethe Vestager

It has denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate. The issue with Google Search in the region goes back to 2010, and relates to search results being preferentially served to favor Google's own partner sites and platforms. The EU has two other investigations now open into Google's business practices in other services: one involving its Android operating system and another concerning its AdSense service.

Kent adds that in Google's opinion, the EC's decision underestimates just how much those connections matter.

Google Shopping box is displayed above other results.

It objects to the fact that Google has leveraged its market dominance in general internet search into a separate market, comparison shopping. Of course, the company still has the option to appeal the decision, so we will have to see if it chooses to take that path.

The amount of the fine, the European Commission said, is due to "the duration and gravity" of Google's actions.

Commenting on the matter, the EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said; "Google has come up with many innovative products and services that have made a difference to our lives".

"They're going to have to change their conduct", said Thomas Vinje, legal counsel to FairSearch, a lobbying group that has helped organize the legal challenge to Google in Europe.

Sept 2014 - After receiving complaints from Google's competitors, the European Union appears to make a U-turn on its settlement with Google on search results, declaring it insufficient.

The rapid pace comes after a seven-year probe fueled by complaints from small shopping websites as well as bigger names, including German publisher Axel Springer SE. In the U.K., Kelkoo and Foundem are among companies that stand to gain from a formal ruling from the EU.

The European Commission said the world's leading technology company has 90 days to stop favouring its own shopping service or face a further penalty per day of up to 5 percent of Alphabet's average daily global turnover.

And as President Trump advocates a fierce America-first policy of trade protectionism, the ruling also raised questions about how his administration would respond to the broadside hit against one of the richest companies in the United States.

Antitrust lawyers on both sides of such cases in Europe usually dismiss allegations of anti-U. "We have watched Google undermine competition in the United States and overseas", the companies said in the letter.

Leadership on curbing monopoly power has been in Europe, not the USA, "for some time", Stoller added.

Last month, Facebook agreed to pay $122 million in fines to the European Union over charges that it misled regulators during its 2014 acquisition of WhatsApp. These cases could produce further, larger fines or require Google to make more changes to its business.

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