Home Technology Regulation Google to face massive EU fine soon: reports

Google to face massive EU fine soon: reports

Google is likely to be soon hit with a big fine by the European Union for allegedly abusing its dominant position in the search market, according to a number of reports.

The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal both cited sources familiar with the case and said the EU was getting ready to announce the results of the first of three anti-trust cases into the company's business practices in Europe.

The reports said the fine could exceed the €1.1 billion imposed on Intel in 2009.

In July last year, the EU repeated its preliminary conclusion that Google had “abused its dominant position by systematically favouring its comparison shopping service in its search result pages".

It also said that its "preliminary view (was) that the company has abused its dominant position by artificially restricting the possibility of third-party websites to display search advertisements from Google's competitors".

In May, a report said the EU was likely to act this month, ending the seven-year investigation.

The EU has two other investigations into Google going on: one is looking at whether it unfairly blocked competitors from sites that use its search bar and ads.

A third case is scrutinising how Google pays and limits mobile phone providers who use the search company's Android software and app store.

A Reuters report last month said three attempts had been made to settle the issue and bring about a compromise, but that Google was unwilling to shift unless the EU altered its approach.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.