Google staring at a record US$3.4 Billion anti-trust penalty in Europe

Google is facing a potential record anti-trust or web search monopoly abuse fine  of approximately  3 BILLION Euros (US$3.4 Billion) from the European Commission in the coming days, according to on.ine reports.

After 7-years of the investigation, the European Commission filed anti-trust charges against Google last year for violating antitrust laws. The penalty sum would easily surpass its toughest anti-trust punishment to date, a €1.1bn fine levied on the microchip giant Intel.

Sources close to the situation said officials aimed to make an announcement before the summer break and could make their move as early as next month, although cautioned that Google’s bill for crushing competition online had not been finalised.

The maximum possible is around €6.6bn, or a tenth of Google’s total annual sales.

Margarethe Vestager
Margarethe Vestager has intensified the EU’s scrutiny of Google Credit: AFP

It will mark a watershed moment in Silicon Valley’s competition battle with Brussels. Google has already been formally charged with unlawfully promoting its own price comparison service in general search results while simultaneously relegating those of smaller rivals, denying them traffic.

The stakes have been further raised by a new investigation into alleged monopoly abuse related to Google’s Android smartphone software.

Margarethe Vestager, the Competition Commissioner, on Friday raised the possibility of further charges in other specialised web search markets such as travel information and maps. Jaoquin Almunia, the previous Competition Commissioner, sought to agree a deal on such changes without bringing formal charges, but Ms Vestager’s has brought a new, more aggressive style to the role, according to lawyers in Brussels.

Article publisehd in detail at the Telegraph UK

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