Google has been fined a record €2.4 billion by the EU

It's just been announced that Google has been fined a record-breaking €2.42 billion (2.14 billion) by the EU for illegally favouring Google Shopping, placing it above other price comparison websites in its search results.

The ruling is the result of a massive 7-year investigation into Google by the EU, who decided that it had "abused its dominant position by systematically favoring" its own services. According to EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager, the US company "abused its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results, and demoting those of competitors."

"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."

Due to the fine, Google will now be required to adjust its search algorithm within 3 months or face fines of up to 5% of its average daily turnover (amounting to $14 million a day). Google Shopping is a huge part of the company's search monetisation strategy, accounting for a large percentage of its revenue, so even subtle changes could potentially wipe out millions in revenue. The company will no doubt appeal the decision in EU courts, which could potentially delay a final decision for years.

Google is also facing two other EU antitrust investigations - one for its AdSense business and another for the deals it makes with Android phone manufacturers.

Tags: google