EU fines Google €2.42bn for ‘abuse of dominance’

The European Commission said it fined Alphabet unit Google a record €2.42 billion for abusing its dominance as a search engine by “giving illegal advantage” to its own comparison shopping service and breaching EU antitrust rules.

“Google has abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service,” said the Commission in a statement.

The Commission said Google must now end the conduct within 90 days or face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Google has come up with many innovative products and services that have made a difference to our lives.

“That’s a good thing.

“But Google’s strategy for its comparison shopping service wasn’t just about attracting customers by making its product better than those of its rivals.

“Instead, Google abused its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results, and demoting those of competitors.

“What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules.

“It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate.

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

Google general counsel Kent Walker said in a statement: “We respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today.

“We will review the Commission’s decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case.”

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.