Google Could Face Deterrent-Sized Fines In EU Antitrust Case
European Union regulator told Google it intends to levy significant fines in case related to Google Shopping.
With April’s antitrust charges related to Google’s handling of its comparison shopping product, the European Union told the search giant that it could face fines significant enough to act as a deterrent, Bloomberg is reporting.
The “statement of objections” issued in April, Bloomberg reports, states that the European Commission “intends to set the fine at a level which will be sufficient to ensure deterrence,” adding that the Commission “considers that, based on the facts described in this statement of objections, Google committed the infringement intentionally or, at the very least, negligently.”
The Commission has been investigating Google for anti-trust infringements since 2010, prodded by competitors such as Microsoft that claim the company favors its own products and services in Google search results. The regulator also continues to investigate Google’s treatment of other specialized search engines, such as maps and local search, and has opened a formal investigation into claims of market abuse in regards to the Android mobile operating system.
Factors that could influence the level of fine levied on Google in the shopping probe include “revenue from Google’s AdWords services relating to clicks from European users; revenue from its price-comparison [Google Shopping] website; and revenue from product queries on its search engine, the commission said in the complaint,” according to Bloomberg.
Google was given 10 weeks to respond to the Commission’s charges, but could file for an extension.
Postscript: The charge sheet was sent to the companies that filed complaints regarding Google’s search practices with the EU on Thursday. The complainants have four weeks to file their own responses, the Wall Street Journal reports — its owner News Corp is among those companies.