Margrethe Vestager continues her war against the American giants. After pinning Apple, which had been condemned by the European Union to pay a fine of 13 billion euros, the Danish commissioner is this time offered the scalp of Google. After 7 years of investigation, the European Commission has sanctioned the Mountain View firm for abuse of a dominant position. The amount of the fine is 2.42 billion euros. In 2009, it was the giant Intel that was ordered to pay a fine of 1.06 billion euros, for a similar reason.
In question, the price comparison Google Shopping, which was “systematically favored (…) in the pages of general search results”, according to Margrethe Vestager. The latter works on the same model as that of AdWords. In concrete terms, brands must pay to have their products listed there as well as possible. Traditional price comparison sites can also be included, subject to paying to be well positioned in search results.
Beyond the fine, the European Commission has demanded that the firm change this practice within 90 days, at the risk of being imposed other financial sanctions. After Google Shopping, Brussels is also investigating the American giant’s AdSense policy, as well as Android, its operating system for smartphones, considered ultra-dominant.
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