Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL - Get Report) Google division has been fined a record €2.42 billion ($2.7 billion) by the European Commission for abusing its dominance as a search engine by giving itself an advantage in comparison shopping services.
"What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules," said Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. "It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate. And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation."
Google now has 90 days to end its conduct or face payments of up to 5% of the average daily global revenue of its parent company, Alphabet Inc., the Commission said. The fine is the largest in EU history, topping the €1.06 billion penalty levied on Intel Corp. in 2009.
"Google has come up with many innovative products and services that have made a difference to our lives," Vestager added. "That's a good thing. But Google's strategy for its comparison shopping service wasn't just about attracting customers by making its product better than those of its rivals."
"Instead, Google abused its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results, and demoting those of competitors," her statement read.
Alphabet shares were marked 0.32% lower in pre-market trading in New York, indicating an opening price of $969 each.
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