Google’s legal problems in Europe are far from over, and the European Commission is readying what might be a massive 3 billion Euros ($3.4 billion) fine in the antitrust case against the search giant.
According to The Sunday Telegraph, the Commission is preparing the required documentation for the fine, with sources saying that officials planned to announce the fine as early as next month, but that the bill had not yet been finalized.
Meanwhile, people familiar with the EU’s antitrust case against Google told Reuters that the US company doesn’t plan to try to settle the allegations. Google is accused of favoring its shopping services in internet searches at the expense of rival internet companies. The investigation began in late 2010, with the two parties failing to settle the matter three different times.
In addition to the fine, Google will also be banned from manipulating search results in the region, so that it doesn’t continue to favor its own products while harming competitors.
The Commission can fine firms up to 10% of their annual sales, Reuters points out, which means Google faces a maximum penalty of more than 6 billion Euros, or $6.8 billion.
The largest fine in an antitrust case in the EU was a 1.1 billion Euros fine imposed on Intel in 2009. Google’s punishment might be at least three times bigger if these new reports are accurate.