European Union fines Google $2.7bn for breaching competition rules

Google faces a record fine for manipulating search results

EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Google has created many innovative products, but in this case abused its market dominance in internet searches.

The EC claimed that Google has systematically given prominent placement to its own comparison shopping service."At the same time, the European Commision said Google has "demoted rival comparison shopping services in its search results".

The commission's report states that Google's search engine is the service of choice in all 31 European Economic Area (EEA) countries, except for the Czech Republic where the Decision has dominance.

However, if it fails to change the way it operates the Shopping service within the three-month deadline, it could be forced to make payments of 5% of its parent company Alphabet's average daily worldwide earnings.

As the European Union official in charge of competition policy, commissioner Margrethe Vestager, spelled out the case against Google, she denied accusations that Brussels had a bias against USA firms, claiming the tech giant had been guilty of an "old school" form of illegality.

"We think our current shopping results are useful and are a much-improved version of the text-only ads we showed a decade ago". Meanwhile, other companies were bumped down the list and saw traffic levels drop.

This practice is a violation of the EU's antitrust rules.

Senior Vice President Kent Walker argues that users favoured Google's results because they were quicker and easier to manage.

Googlesaid that they will continue to engage constructively with the European Commission and they believe strongly that their innovations in online shopping have been good for shoppers, retailers and competition.

In a post on Google's official blog, the company said they "respectfully disagree" with the commission's conclusions and will consider an appeal.

The EU has also charged Google of crushing its rivals using its Android mobile operating system and of blocking its rivals in online search advertising.

This decision has come after a long investigation of 7 years by several complaints from rivals for example; TripAdvisor, News Corp and lobbying group Fairsearch, US Customer review website Yelp, and UK Price comparison site Foundem.

This is one of the biggest fines that the European Union has imposed on a single company after a $1.06bn antitrust fine on Intel.

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