Technology

Google Could Soon Be Hit With $1B EU Anti-Trust Fine

The European Commission this week plans to slap Alphabet-owned Google with a $1.2-billion fine for breaching the European Union’s anti-trust laws.

The Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, will also demand Google change its business practices, people “familiar with the matter” told The Wall Street Journal.

The announcement, which could come as soon as Tuesday, will finally bring some closure to the seven-year process. The European Commission began probing Google’s search methods in November of 2010 and, in April 2015, officially charged Google with violating anti-trust laws.

The Commission accused Google of suppressing competition and hurting consumers by using its monopoly of the market to give its own products and services prominence over that of its competitors.

Google has, since officially being charged two years ago, attempted to appease the EU by making some changes to its business practices. None of them, however, went far enough to please the Commission. Google was warned at that time that if a settlement was not reached with the EU, it would be looking at massive fines and restrictions on its behavior.

Google, however, is adamant it is doing all it can to please the EU.

“We continue to engage constructively with the European Commission and we believe strongly that our innovations in online shopping have been good for shoppers, retailers and competition,” Google spokesman Al Verney said in a statement to the media.

The Commission is also investigating Google’s conduct with mobile operating systems, apps and services. The Commission’s investigation into Google’s Android OS rules will be to determine if the firm is hindering the development and market access of rival mobile operating systems, applications and services, disadvantaging consumers and developers.

Whether Google will also face fines due to this probe remains to be seen.

Google is not the first tech firm to be slapped with a major penalty by the EU. Intell, back in 2009, was forced to shell out more than $1 billion.

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Jennifer Cowan

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.