NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- As part of the European Commission's ongoing antitrust probe into Google (GOOG), the competition watchdog reportedly told the search giant it could face a fine based on its AdWords revenue that's derived from European users.
And the fine would be a hefty one, large enough to act as a future deterrent, according to Bloomberg, which cited a version of the commission's statement of objections.
The report says the European Union also may ask Google to alter how its shopping services are displayed. In April, the commission sent a Statement of Objections to Google, outlining its view that Google's comparison shopping service abuses the company's dominant position in general Internet search.
Among its concerns about Google's conduct, the commission said it found that Google's comparison shopping products are systematically displayed prominently at the top of search results, without regard to the most relevant results.
In a speech on April 17, 2015, the European Commission said, "Our preliminary view in the Statement of Objections is that in its general internet search results, Google artificially favours its own comparison shopping service and that this constitutes an abuse. Our investigation so far has shown that, when a consumer enters a shopping-related query in Google's search engine, Google's comparison shopping product is systematically displayed prominently at the top of the search results. This display is irrespective of whether it is the most relevant response to the query. Thus, Google's commercial product is not subject to the same algorithms as other comparison shopping services."
It added, "Dominance in one market is used to create an advantage in a related market. The advantage in the related market does not appear to reflect the merits of Google's comparison shopping service, but rather results from Google using its considerable power on the market in which it is dominant."
The commission gave Google ten weeks to respond, which the company has yet to do.