Google Faces EU Anti-Trust Objection, Potential $6.6bn Fine

Europe croppedThe European Commission (EC) has issued a Statement of Objections to Google over the way it presents search results.

The EC alleges that general search results systematically favour Google Shopping over other shopping comparison products, using its dominant market share in search to divert traffic away from rivals – and breaching EU anti-trust rules.

The statement claims that this conduct stretches back to 2008, following the failure of Googles first shopping comparison product Froogle, which did not benefit from the same favourable treatment is search results.

Its all part of a wider EC investigation into Googles conduct, which been ongoing for five years and which, according to The Wall Street Journal, could see Google fined for as much as 10 per cent of its annual revenues. Given that Google reported revenues of $66bn (£47.4m) in 2014, thats a hefty fine.

The EC is investigating three other concerns relating to the search business – copying of rivals’ web content (known as scraping), advertising exclusivity and undue restrictions on advertisers – and additionally has now formally opened an anti-trust investigation into Android.