Even if Google’s motto is “Don’t be evil”, according to the results of a seven year investigation by the European Union competition authority , the Alphabet company may end up slapped with a hefty fine. Hefty, as in 9 billion dollars and some change.
The thing is, EU antitrust regulators are beginning to grasp the concept that Google is skewing the internet search results to benefit its shopping service, thus distorting the market and hurting (financially speaking) both its consumers and rivals alike. And that’s due to the fact that Google is world’s biggest and most popular search engine.
According to sources familiar with the matter, the European Union antitrust regulators are looking to pin a 9 billion dollars fine on Google in 2 months tops, i.e. by August. And this fine will be just the first step in the war against the American IT giant, as 2 other cases involving the Alphabet company will follow shortly.
The decision by the EU Commission follows a long investigation into world’s greatest search engine, an investigation that was started by numerous complaints from both EU and US companies (read rivals). The European antitrust authority already accused Google of distorting internet result searches 2 years ago, in 2015, but the latter rejected the charges, arguing that the regulators ignored competition from other online retailers, such as Ebay and Amazon.
If found guilty, Google may end up with being fined 10 percent of its global turnover, i.e. 9 billion dollars in Google’s particular case. Apart from the hefty fine, Google may be forced to stop its anti-competitive modus operandi, but it’s not clear how the European Commission could enforce the respective order. Google tried to settle the matter three times, in-camera so to speak , but without success. The internet giant was also accused of using its incredibly popular Android mobile OS to squeeze out rivals and with blocking access to its Ad Sense for Search platform for its competitors, with regard to online search advertising. Ad Sense allows Google to work as an intermediary of sorts for telecoms operators, online retailers and newspapers.