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Google reportedly faces record fine for abusing search monopoly in Europe

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Google may soon be hit with a record fine by the European Commission, as it seeks to punish Google and discourage other tech giants from taking advantage of their dominant market position. The Telegraph reports that the commission is currently planning to issue a 3 billion euro fine (about $3.39 billion USD) after finding that Google abused its search monopoly. Its highest fine to date is 1.1 billion euros, in 2009.

The specific issue at hand is that Google is said to have illegally promoted its own shopping results over those of competitors. Google has denied wrongdoing, and The Telegraph points out that it could choose to fight the fine. Intel did just that, delaying the fine until a final decision was made in 2014.

Google would be required to change its search practices

The fine could be issued within weeks, reports The Telegraph. It's possible the total will change, but the commission has significant leeway here: it's allowed to fine Google up to a tenth of its annual sales, allowing for a maximum fine of 3.3 billion euros. The fine would follow a seven-year investigation into Google's search practices.

In addition to the fine, Google would have to change its search practices to be in line with European law. The Telegraph says that Google will be banned from favoring its own services over those of competitors — this would seemingly impact all product categories, not just shopping.

Separately, European Union regulators have also begun targeting Android, filing charges last month that Google was harming competitors by mandating certain apps come preinstalled on its phones. The EU is clearly very concerned with Google's expansive size, and by the sound of things, it's about to kick off a major fight.


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