The European Union fined Google $2.7 billion on Wednesday for giving a leg-up to to its own shopping comparison service at the top of search results. The fine is the largest penalty given against any company in the world to date.
The EU says that Google displayed search results from its own comparison shopping service called Google Shopping at the top, while systematically demoting results from rival comparison shopping services. Google now has 90 days to stop the practice or face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of its parent company, Alphabet, which was nearly $90 billion in 2016.
“Google has come up with many innovative products and services that have made a difference to our lives,” said EU commissioner in charge of competition policy Margrethe Vestager in a press release. “That’s a good thing. But Google’s strategy for its comparison shopping service wasn’t just about attracting customers by making its product better than those of its rivals. Instead, Google abused its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results, and demoting those of competitors.”
BuzzFeed News has reached out to Google for comment.
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