Alphabet execs will not be waking up to good news today. They already knew that Google was facing a fine in Europe that would likely beat the record set a few years ago by Intel’s €1.06 billion punishment. But they probably did not expect a €2.42 fine, or around $2.7 billion, which is more than double Intel’s sanction.
The fine came after an investigation that lasted for more than seven years, and Google almost avoided a fine a few years ago when it tried to settle the case with the EU.
The European Commission further ordered Google to change its anti-competitive practices in Google Search, Reuters reports. The company has 90 days to comply, after which it’ll face extra penalties amounting to 5% of Alphabet’s average daily worldwide turnover.
The EU’s investigation of Google’s Search business is just one of the three anti-trust inquiries EU is conducting. Google is facing similar fines in the remaining two cases, one of which involves Android, while the other targets the AdSense business.
Google will likely appeal the decision in EU courts. But the Commission seems very interested in teaching Google and other tech companies a lesson with this particular case. That’s not to say Google did not abuse Search rankings. Only that the Commission no longer seeks a quick settlement as it was the case a few years ago, under the previous competition commissioner.
“We respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today. We will review the Commission’s decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case,” per The Verge