Google Hit With Record $2.72 Billion Fine by EU for Online Shopping Service
European regulators have slapped a record $2.72 billion fine on internet giant Google on Tuesday for breaching antitrust rules with its online shopping service.
The European Commission, which polices European Union competition rules, alleges Google elevates its shopping service even when other options might have better deals.
The EU's competition watchdog said "Google has abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service."
It gave the Mountain View, California, company 90 days to stop or face fines of up to 5 percent of the average daily worldwide turnover of parent company Alphabet.
The Commission said Google "gave prominent placement in its search results only to its own comparison shopping service, whilst demoting rival services. It stifled competition on the merits in comparison shopping markets."
Google maintains it's just trying to package its search results in a way that makes it easier for consumers to find what they want.
"When you shop online, you want to find the products you're looking for quickly and easily. And advertisers want to promote those same products. That's why Google shows shopping ads, connecting our users with thousands of advertisers, large and small, in ways that are useful for both," Kent Walker, senior vice president at Google, said in a statement.
"We will review the Commission's decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case," he said.
The fine is the highest ever imposed in Europe for anti-competitive behavior, exceeding a $1.19 billion penalty on Silicon Valley chip maker Intel in 2009.
But the penalty is likely to leave a bigger dent in Google's pride and reputation than its finances. Alphabet has more than $92 billion in cash, including nearly $56 billion in accounts outside of Europe.http://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/google-hit-record-2-72-billion-fine-eu-online-shopping-n777041
Former Mini Mart Magnate
I am just here for my amusement.
Politics, ban him
LOL. The fines go into the EU budget, along with the VAT - the consumers really get stood up for in that arrangement.
Mod wannabe. Ban him
Really? You focus on where the fines go and the VAT?
That's not the point. The point is that these types of fines protect consumers because they drive corporate policy.
Then again, if you prefer unregulated capitalism and think all taxes and fines are bad then perhaps you have a point.
Have you ever shopped retail in China?
A company boosting their own services over the competition? meh.
My brother used to do business in China, he loved shopping there (skate shoes that went for $60 US, ~$8 there). I have no experience but I would like to hear your perspective.
And your example was precisely illustrative of the point I was trying to make. Those shoes he bought were in all likelihood fakes. That's what happens when the basic regulations of intellectual property and copyright are generally ignored -- although they're doing a better job of it recently, it's still a huge issue.
And that's the rub. On the one hand, you need a certain level of regulation to ensure there's some protection for consumers (and corporations too!), but on the other hand you have to not over-regulate and stifle competition that every day is occuring on a more global basis (where the lowest common denominator tends to win -- see China manufacturing as an example).
It's not nearly as a cut and dry issue as many believe. But the lessons from both history and today are right there for anyone to see.
The hard working Little guy " gets barried
You should not be able to manipulate search engines !!!
And why to F&%K is my spell checker NOT working ?
I am curious why too, unless you are being sarcastic.
Buyer beware and consumer be informed. Waaaah we are going to fine you because we represent a bunch of tards who cant find the cheapest price. I love Amazon, ebay....dont buy much on google directly, their add prices are usually not the cheapest at all.
If you are buying something it takes very little time to find out online a) what it cost in the store to drive up and purchase and b) what you can/can't save by purchasing online. Shop google, shop ebay, shop Amazon, shop some of the online stores directly that come up under a google search.
For many Americans, the word “monopoly” conjures images of robber baron-owned railroad and steel conglomerates from the turn of the 20th century. The trust-busting policies of former President Theodore Roosevelt put an end to them, a certain popular wisdom goes, giving us the thriving, competitive economy we have today.
In reality, as Stoller laid out in a lengthy essay in The Atlantic in October, cutting monopoly business and financial power down to size was the product of constant battles with big money interests that picked up significantly during the New Deal of the 1930s.
Responding to the banking abuses that led to the Great Depression, populist Democrats, often from rural parts of the country, battled the monopolies of their era in order to protect their constituent farmers and local businesses. Antitrust legislation allowed for companies that grew too large or abused their size to be fined or broken up, and Congress, together with the executive branch’s Federal Trade Commission, often put those laws to work.
For several decades, their policing paid off: There were no major financial crises, small towns thrived and the typical worker’s pay climbed steadily.
But by the mid-1970s, a new generation of Democrats concluded that the tight regulation of the New Deal era was outdated, or at least in need of less vigilant enforcement, according to Stoller.
Monopolies swelled once again, leading to the present day, when concentrated wealth and anticompetitive behavior are just as often the province of socially liberal tech giants as that of Wall Street or traditional industry.
Google and Facebook, for example, together now rake in some 85 percent of all internet advertising dollars.
It’s that kind of power that companies can use to prevent new players from entering the market and cripple those that manage to rear their heads.
In one infamous case, Google drove the small website CelebrityNetWorth.com to the brink of extinction in 2016 by offering the site’s data in its search results without consent, effectively depriving the upstart company of most of its traffic, the lifeblood of its business.
What curious times we find ourselves in.....
Yes I have shopped retail in China. It is a blast!
Unregulated Capitalism? Let us know when that every occurred. The free market is the ultimate arbiter of the value of something. If you are getting it for free then you are the product, this includes searches. I dont use Google for searching. There are options. People shouldnt be so stupid, and the more the government does to protect them, the stupider they get.
No such thing as a monopoly in a free market. Not if you use the natural definition and not the pretend one invented to create larger government.