EU issues €2.4bn fine to Google Shopping for being anti-competitive

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Google has been fined 2.42bn by the European Union Commission in regards to the Google Shopping service which it judges to e anti-competitive. The Commission has decreed that Google has abused its dominance by promoting its own shopping comparison service in search results.

EU: “What Google has done is illegal.”

Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s Competition Commissioner said: “What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules. It has denied other companies the chance to compete on their merits and to innovate, and most importantly it has denied European consumers the benefits of competition, genuine choice and innovation.”

Google: “We respectfully disagree.”

Google may appeal. A spokesperson said: “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. We respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today. We will review the Commission’s decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case.”

Google has 90 days to remedy the situation or it will face further financial penalties. The EU Commission hasn’t laid down exactly what it expects Google to do but rather laid down its objections and left it to Google to implement an appropriate change to the Google Shopping experience.

It’s clearly a hefty fine and it could be an interesting precedence in terms of online shopping and how big players (including Amazon and eBay) deliver search results. But this is just the first act. We’ll keep you posted.

If you feel moved, here is the full press conference and Q&A with the Commissioner that was held today announcing the fine and the Commission’s concerns.

2 Responses

  1. ” large and small”, bit more for the large than the small I would say, adwords for example we have 0 chance of bidding on the main keywords. Plus they to suffocate organic search.


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