EU slaps Google with record $2.7 billion fine

| Updated: Jun 28, 2017 06:32 IST

New York [U.S.A.], June 28 (ANI): European Union (EU) regulators penalised U.S. tech giant Google a record USD 2.7 billion antitrust fine on Tuesday, for denying 'consumers a genuine choice' by using its search engine to unfairly steer them to its own shopping platform. Regulators further warned Google to change its behaviour within 90 days or face additional penalties, reports the CNN. "What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules. It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate. And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation," said Margrethe Vestager, the EU's top antitrust official. However, Google refuted the claim saying that it tries to show ads in ways that are helpful for buyers and sellers. "We respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today. We will review the Commission's decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case," said a Google spokesperson. The Commission said that Google acted illegally by giving priority placement in search results to its own shopping service, while relegating results from rivals to areas where potential buyers were much less likely to click. Vestager said Google's competitors could claim compensation in national courts within the EU. She said hundreds of companies, including some based in the U.S., complained about the way Google displayed its shopping service. The EU has also accused Google of abusing its market position by imposing restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators. It is also investigating the company's ad placing service, AdSense. Earlier, EU imposed antitrust penalty of USD 1.2 billion on Intel in 2009. Intel has been fighting to overturn that decision ever since. Facebook was also fined by antitrust regulators in May for misleading officials over its takeover of messaging service WhatsApp. The same month, Amazon agreed to change its distribution agreements with e-book publishers to address antitrust concerns raised by the Commission. (ANI)