European Union fines Google $2.7bn for breaching competition rules

Giving Google Shopping priority in Google search results over other price comparison services is "illegal" the Commission said, and has given it 90 days to "end the conduct" or face further penalties. While some comparison shopping sites naturally want Google to show them more prominently, our data show that people usually prefer links that take them directly to the products they want, not to websites where they have to repeat their searches. The commission ruled that this preferential treatment of its own content is illegal and anti-competitive.

♦ The EU says Google doesn't subject its own service to its algorithm, which ranks search results on quality and user relevance. One of the first antitrust cases to be levied at Google surrounded the company's "Shopping" search engine, with the European Union claiming Google skews results and causes harm to competitors.

Vestager alleged Google elevated its shopping service even when other options might have better deals.

Specifically, the European Commission, the EU's regulatory institution, found Google's supremacy in the search engine industry allowed it to give an unfair boost to its own comparison shopping service displayed in search results.

Shooting suspect arrested after police chase on Hwy. 400
A carjacking and shooting in north Toronto resulted in a police pursuit that finally ended on Highway 11 in Orillia. A weapon allegedly discarded by the suspect was later located in a grassy area near the highway.

The fine follows a seven-year investigation by the EC after it received dozens of complaints from competitors claiming that Google abused its position as the world leader in search market. The Mountain View, Calif. -based company has opposed the charges for several years, saying that it actively competes with Amazon in the search engine market, as well as other companies. "And most importantly, it has denied European consumers the benefits of competition, genuine choice of services and innovation".

"We respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today", senior Google vice president and general counsel Kent Walker said after the announcement. Otherwise, the company will face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet (Google's parent company). It's worth noting that in the European countries, over 90% of all search results run through Google. And advertisers want to promote those same products.

REUTERS/Francois LenoirPeter Willis, cohead of competition and European Union at Bird & Bird law firm, said: "The Commission's position will be that it has fined Google not because it is a large United States tech company, but because it has abused its dominant market position by squeezing out its rivals in related markets".

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