The European Union has imposed a record fine of $ 2.7 billion on Google for monopolistic behavior in Europe’s search market.
The company accused of exploiting its search position, which it dominates to divert traffic to its price comparison services at the expense of competing services. Besides, it Google accused of imitating search engine content from rival sites and signing agreements with advertisers prohibiting them from working with competing for search engines.
The investigation opened in 2010 and almost two years ago was closed in a plea bargain that canceled due to strong opposition from France, Germany and big media and telecom companies.
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After the fine had announced, Google argued that the ruling on consolidation is not compatible with the way people purchase products on the Web, so their intervention in biasing the search results is not material or severe, as alleged. “Users have come to sites in many ways: search engine optimization, targeted search services, online trading platforms, social media ads, and ads from different companies,” said Kent Walker, Google’s legal counsel. “More than half of the network traffic in Europe is based on it today – the most common way to make purchases is mobile applications.”
US business world has already accused the EU of bad attitude against American tech companies.
In 2016 the EU’s competition commission decided on forcing Apple to pay Ireland €13 billion in back taxes.
But examining past antitrust decisions between 2010-2017, by the Commission show only 15 percent have hit US high-tech companies, while approximately two-thirds have targeted European firms.