Today, Google was slapped with the largest fine in the history of the EU, a cool $2.7 billion for violating the EU’s antitrust law. Google was accused of using its dominance as a search engine to direct customers to its own shopping resources. The investigation into Google was formally announced back on April 15th, 2015.
The charge centers on Google’s search algorithm for its shopping service. The EU said that when a user would search for a product, Google’s shopping link would show at the top of the page, above competitors like Amazon or eBay.
In a statement, the European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said, “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,”
As a result of the EU’s findings, it is likely Google could face further fines if it is determined it abused its position, specifically on Google Maps and Google Images.
The EU is giving Google 90 days to comply with the ruling and end the practice, though Google has announced it may appeal the EU’s ruling. In a statement by Google Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Kent Walker, “Given the evidence, 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.” If Google doesn’t change its algorithms in the 90 days, they would face daily payments of 5% of their annual revenue.