Google faces record fine for abusing web search monopoly


Legal sources have said that the fine it incurs for comparing purchases is likely to reflect the fact that Google has abused its monopoly on general web search for many years. The European Commission may also seek to set an example for the company on changes to its algorithms during the investigation that made it even more difficult for its competitors to grow, as well as what some officials now see as his delaying tactics during the investigation.

In addition to being liable to a heavy fine, Google will be prohibited from continuing to manipulate search results to promote itself and harm its rivals. The company fiercely resisted such interference in its algorithms, its core business, and sought to appease regulators with offers to overhaul the presentation of results, a gamble that ultimately fell through.

Jaoquin Almunia, the former competition commissioner, sought to strike a deal on such changes without laying formal charges, but Ms Vestager brought a new, more aggressive style to the role, according to Brussels lawyers.

His fine will signal a rejection of Google’s arguments that because Amazon and eBay are successful, competition is flourishing online.

Google declined to comment. It could choose to fight fines and new search rules before the European Court of Justice.

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