Tue. Nov 24th, 2020

Google Fined Nearly $1.7 Billion for Antitrust Violations

On Wednesday, European regulators fined Google nearly $1.7 billion on charges that it’s adverting practices violated local antitrust laws.

 

Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s top competition commissioner, said Google had engaged in “illegal practices” in a bid to “cement its dominant market position” in the search and advertising markets. She also said additional antitrust scrutiny of the tech giant was still to come.

 

Wednesday’s ruling marks the third time that European regulators have penalized Google for harming competition and consumers. A stark contrast to the United States; despite complaints that tech companies have become “too large and too powerful,” US regulators have not filed a single complaint against Google or any of its peers in recent years.

 

Reacting to the fine, Kent Walker, Google’s senior vice president of global affairs, said in a statement that the company has made “a wide range of changes to our products to address the [European] Commission’s concerns.” Google did not say whether it would appeal the E.U. decision.

 

The company’s changes include a new effort, detailed Tuesday, to help owners of Android smartphones find and use competing search and web-browsing services. The update applies only to Europe, Google said in a blog post, without indicating whether it would alter any of its mobile practices in the United States.