Google may soon face a record $3.4 billion fine from the European antitrust authorities over how it abused its control of the online search market in the EU.
This will be the highest fine the European Commission has ever issued as an antitrust punishment. In addition to the fine, Google will be banned from manipulating its search results to favour itself over its rivals.
The fine against the company has not yet been finalised but Margrethe Vetager and other EU officials are planning on announcing it and the other restrictions that will be brought against the company in June. However the fine could reach as high as 6.6 billion euros which would be 10 per cent of Google's annual sales.
This could end up being very damaging for the company that has spent the last seven years dealing with antitrust charges from authorities in Europe. Google's shopping service has been the primary focus of their charges as the search engine directly favoured it over its competitors. Android, the company's mobile OS, has also drawn the attention of the European Commission recently for the way that apps designed by Google come pre-installed and prevent new apps and services from gaining the attention of consumers.
Intel received the European Commission's previous highest fine of 1.1 billion euros. Whether the fine levied against Google ends up being three or six billion euros it will still affect how the company is able to operate in Europe and the reputation it holds in the region.
Photo credit: photogearch / Shutterstock