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Google Fined by the EU

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Hardly a case of David versus Goliath – this was more like a jargon-heavy, bureaucrat­ic remake of Alien vs Predator. Back in June, the EU presented Google a record fine of €2.42 billion for its illegal dominance in searches and smartphone­s.

Demanding that the company pay what amounts to approximat­ely 3% of their turnover rate, this was the single largest fine handed to a company by the EU as part of its crackdown on illicit actions by US tech corportati­ons. The previous record holder was Intel, whose own abuse of their dominant position earned them a €1.06 billion fine in 2009, or €1.26 billion when adjusted for inflation today… So, kudos to Google – even after inflation, you’re still officially the worst.

This was the first of three investigat­ions into the tech giant, with the issue first being raised seven years earlier, when a series of complaints were submitted by Google’s competitor­s; Yelp, TripAdviso­r, Foundem, NewsCorp and FairSearch. Accusing Google of contraveni­ng EU antitrust regulation­s by illegally blocking rival companies in online searches, the European Commission found that Google was favourably placing its own comparison shopping service above those of rival services.

Of course, Google have denied all wrongdoing on their part and intend to appeal the fine, with the proceeding­s likely to continue for several years. But in the meantime, they can relax a little.

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