According to the UK’s The Telegraph, an inside source reports that the European Union is preparing to fine Google a record-breaking 3 billion euros, or approximately 4.3 billion Canadian dollars, for anti-competition practices.
In late 2010 the European Union’s executive arm, the European Commission, began its investigation after Google was accused of unfairly promoting its shopping services at the expense of competitors. In addition to the fine it faces, Google will also have to contend with new regulations. The Telegraph states that “Google will be banned from continuing to manipulate search results to favour itself and harm rivals.”
While the source says the bill is not finalized, it could be announced as early as next month, finally bringing the six-year case to a conclusion.
Re/Code printed an internal Google memo that it got hold of last month, in which the company enumerates the reasons it disputes these allegations, including increased competition and better services for users. Over the course of the investigation, it attempted three times to reach a compromise with the Commission.
While the fine may seem steep, under its own rules the Commission is able to fine companies up to ten percent of annual sales, which in Google’s case would be more in the range of 6.6 billion euros, or 9.6 billion Canadian dollars. Previously, the biggest fine it handed out was a 1.1 billion euro fine to Intel in 2009.
Google can also choose to fight the fine and new search rules in the European Court of Justice.
Creative Commons image credit: Denys Vitali
Related reading: Getty Images files complaint about Google with the European Union
Via: The Telegraph