Google, the biggest search engine in the world is likely to get a rap in its knuckles from European union. According to reports, it may be fined for whopping $1.1 billion by EU for allegedly abusing its market dominance while displaying results for comparison shopping service.
If fined, this will be a culmination of a seven-year old investigation against Google. “In July last year, the commission had reiterated its belief that the search giant had abused its dominant position by systematically favouring its comparison shopping service in its search result pages,” according to a Guardian report. The penalty handed out to Google will be more than 1 billion euro which Intel had to pay in 2009 for ‘misusing its dominance’.
European commission’s competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager has been egged on by Google’s competitors to show no leniency to them. Vestager’s predecessor had reportedly declined three settlement offers from Google in the past. “A financial sanction for abuse of a monopoly position is capped at a maximum of 10 per cent of the total revenues of the company involved,” according to the report. Since 2000, European Commission have pulled up several high-profile companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, Intel among others.
In 2014, Google said that EU’s case lacked evidence. It is likely to appeal against the possible fine in higher courts. Google is also being probed for whether it has unfairly banned competitors from websites that used its search bar and advertisements.