You know what they say about monopoly—it is business at the end of its journey. To think of Google here would sound exaggerated right now. However, there have been many cases recently where Google has been warned for misusing its position in the search market. Global economic forums and anti-trust agencies are keeping a close eye on their activities to prevent a global technology giant from creating ripples in the market.
Recently, the European Union’s competition commission slapped Google with a $2.7 billion antitrust fine, inquiries while blaming the popular search engine for giving out false shopping results. Google is being criticised for promoting its own shopping comparison higher than others.
European Commission first reported the matter to Google in 2015. It studied 1.2 Billi inquiries before arriving on the decision that Google was unfairly manipulating shopping results. There were hundreds of companies that complained about Google for displaying its shopping services inappropriately.
EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestages called it an abuse and illegal under European antitrust laws. According to European Competition Commission guidelines, Google should be unbiased and treat its rival services equal to its own when comparing prices.
In support of the internet giant, Google General Counsel Kent Walker said that Google’s shopping comparison is a service provided to customers. He explained his point using the example of Puma shoes that has links to five different European retailers.“Our data shows that people usually prefer links that take them directly to the products they want, not to websites where they have to repeat their searches,” said Walker. Clearly, Google completely disagrees with the fine imposed by the EU antitrust.
The search engine giant can appeal this decision to the bloc’s highest courts and they have 90 days to take any action. It can either try to end the conduct or pay the penalty amount, which accounts for up to 5% of the company’s average daily global revenue. Google has been asked to ensure that it complies with the EU antitrust guidelines and finds ways to implement the decision.
This is not the first time that Google is accused of an anticompetitive activity. In past, it was reported that Google has promoted its apps and services unfairly to suppress competition of Android devices.