BRUSSELS, June 27. /TASS/. The European Commission (EC) has fined Google a record 2.42 bln euro for breaching the European Union (EU) antitrust rules, the EC reported on Tuesday.
"Google has abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service," the report said.
The company must now end the conduct within 90 days or face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google's parent company, the European Commission said.
According to the report, Google has abused its market dominance by giving its own comparison shopping service an illegal advantage. "It gave prominent placement in its search results only to its own comparison shopping service, whilst demoting rival services. It stifled competition on the merits in comparison shopping markets," the EC said.
Given Google's dominance in general internet search, its search engine is an important source of traffic. As a result of Google's illegal practices, traffic to Google's comparison shopping service increased significantly, whilst rivals have suffered very substantial losses of traffic on a lasting basis, the report said.
"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," Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, was quoted as saying.
The US Google Corporation is considering an appeal against the decision of the European Commission to fine the company a record amount for breaching the EU antitrust rules:
"Given the evidence, 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," Google said.