Google Gets Hit With A Record Fine Over Its Search Results

In a description of Google's strategy for its comparison shopping service, the EC says that Google's flagship product is the Google search engine and that nearly 90% of Google's revenues stem from adverts, such as those it shows consumers in response to a search query.

Yesterday's fine could just be the first in a series of European Union antitrust penalties for Google, which is fighting on at least two other fronts, including its Android mobile phone software and the AdSense online advertising service.

The €2.42 billion (£2.1 billion) fine was calculated based on Google's revenue from its shopping sites in the 13 European countries affected - including the UK.

In addition to the fine, Google has 90 days to change the way its search engine operates for shopping results, giving equal treatment to rivals - but the Commission has not specified exactly what form the alterations should take.

Google has indicated it intends to appeal the ruling.

Margrethe Vestager, the competition commissioner, said: 'What Google has done is illegal. That's a good thing. The commission claims Google's comparison shopping service has seen massive traffic increases in Europe in recent years, while rivals have seen their traffic drop.

GOOGLE has been slapped with a record £2.1billion fine for breaching European competition rules with its online shopping service. This was reportedly done by neglecting any other rival company.

Most importantly, she said Google's market strategy for comparison shopping has prevented consumers from access to genuine choices when they shop using its search engine.

"We will monitor Google's compliance closely", Vestager said.

Google's own response in an official blog post is that it "respectfully disagree with the conclusions a and will review the Commission's decision in detail as we consider an appeal".

The company has been ordered to end the conduct at the centre of the European Commission probe or face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily turnover of parent company Alphabet.

Europe's decision to punish marks a sharp departure from the approach taken by USA regulators, who closed their antitrust probe of Google's search business without significant penalty in 2013.

The 2.4 billion euro fine handed down Tuesday, which had been expected, is the largest of its kind - Intel was fined $1.2 billion by the European Union in 2010 and is appealing that decision. "That's why Google shows shopping ads, connecting our users with thousands of advertisers", Kent Walker, senior vice president at Google, said in a statement.

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