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Google Gets Record $3.6b Fine From European Union

Google Says No

Google Gets Record $3.6b Fine From European Union

Google's been slapped with a massive fine for giving its shopping site too much favouritism in search results.

The record $3.6 billion penalty followed an extensive investigation by the European Union's Competition Commissioner which troved through 2.5 terabytes of search data (about 2 billion search queries).

“What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules,” said Competition Chief Margrethe Vesteger.

“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 doesn't accept the ruling and is tossing up an appeal.

It's also been given 90 days to "end the conduct" or face ongoing fines of up to $18 million a day or roughly 5% of its daily revenue.

Google Shopping shows images and prices of products on page one when someone carries out a search.

The EU alleges a change in strategy as far back as 2008 pushed rivals well down the page, sometimes to the 3rd or 4th page where users are less likely to go.

Opinion online's been divided, with some applauding the fine and others outraged.


It's unclear what the fine means for Google's other searches, but experts suggest it may set a precedent for similar lawsuits on images, news and even travel.

While it's the first serious fine, it may not be the last with the EU also probing Google's Adsense advertising arm and its Android mobile phone system.