Google Could Face $4 Billion European Commission Fine Over Unfair Search

Last month, the European Commission issued Google with formal anti-trust charges over Android. Now, it appears that the company could face new fines over skewing search results. Image by AP

The Telegraph reports that the charges, which are yet to be finalised, would be the result of "a seven-year investigation of [the] company's dominant search engine". It's not clear exactly what form the charges may take, but sources tell the newspaper that the Commission plans to make an announcement about it in the next couple of months.

The newspaper explains that the charges the Commission is to level at Google could add up to an incredibly high fine. Sources tell the newspaper that the maximum fine facing Google could total almost $US7 billion ($9.6 billion) — a tenth of the company's annual sales — but are more likely to be in the region of $US3 billion ($4 billion). For a little context, the previous highest fine was issued to Intel for $US1.25 ($1.7 billion).

It wouldn't be the first time that Google has search has come under the scrutiny of the Commission. Last year, Google was charged with prioritising results from its own shopping sites rather than those of its competitors. And earlier this year, it received charges claiming that it "abused its dominant position by imposing restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators".

The European Commission is certainly throwing an awful lot of charges at Google. We'll have to wait and see if any of them stick.




    Of course they screw search results.

    Type any word I to google.
    Hit video - all the listings will show YouTube videos
    Type the same word again followed by -YouTube. (space minus YouTube ) and see the difference

    This is hugely simplified, but it does illustrate the point.

    If I had a corner shop, and I had daily specials in the window, would the court then force me to display my opposition's prices as well? And if they did such a silly thing, would I not put mine in the most prominent position?

      Type any word into Bing.
      Hit video - almost all the listings show YouTube videos.

      Type any word into Dogpile.
      Hit video - almost all the listings show YouTube videos.

      Type any word into Yahoo (with 'videos' on the end because they don't have a video search)
      Almost all the listings show YouTube videos.

      Every search engine is rigging their results to prioritise Google's YouTube service! Wait no, it's just that YouTube is larger than all the other video sites combined and the second most trafficked website in the world (the next closest video site being Netflix at rank 35) and it's natural that it will appear prominently in the search results.

      Last edited 17/05/16 9:56 am

        I did just that, and so it is.

        Good point. And so we learn...

      Well you have one gaping hole in your example. It's not Google's products/services and it's not Google's prices.

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