EU's antitrust regulators expected to set a record fine for Google this week

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Google Campus Logo (Image credit: Android Central)

Google has been in a long legal battle in the European Union over its Adsense for Search platform. The "statements of objections" were initially filed last year over Google's practice of having an unfair advantage in the ad wars by preventing third-party websites and platforms from showing competitor's ads. Now, the EU's antitrust regulators are ready to settle on a penalty for the search company.

Bloomberg reports the fine for Google is expected to top a previous $1.2 billion record. Regulators are so eager to administer it that they've opted to "skirt the usual rules that see all of the EU's 28 commissioners discuss controversial decisions at a weekly meeting, usually on a Wednesday."

From the article:

The EU accelerated action on a decision in recent days. Officials who'd previously targeted a July date had brought that forward to this week, one person said. Multiple Google representatives still hadn't been told of the EU's timetable as of early Monday. While the EU isn't required to inform companies, it often does so as a courtesy.The rapid pace comes after a lengthy seven-year probe fueled by complaints from small shopping websites as well as bigger names, including News Corp., Axel Springer SE and Microsoft Corp. European politicians have called on the EU to sanction Google or even break it up while U.S. critics claim regulators are targeting successful American firms.

This decision is potentially the most significant antitrust enforcement ruling in almost two decades — since the U.S. Justice Department went after Microsoft. The case could also affect how Google displays its products in search results. For its part, Google told Bloomberg that it was "continuing to engage constructively with the European Commission and believes 'strongly that our innovations in online shopping have been good for shoppers, retailers and competition.'"

Overall, this particular case seems to be more about changing Google's advertising practices across the web. Will it be successful? Only if the EU issues a binding order requiring Google to change its practices.

Florence Ion

Florence Ion was formerly an editor and columnist at Android Central. She writes about Android-powered devices of all types and explores their usefulness in her everyday life. You can follow her on Twitter or watch her Tuesday nights on All About Android.

  • Finally !! Enough of 1 dominant company which takes control of everything without any competitor... Google write anything and everyone believe and trust... That company should have much more competitors and everything should be equal for all business... They have to find a way to get better prices whithout telling wrong things about competitors... google : liar !
  • Google does have competitors for their search engine, their browser and their OS. It's just that the competitors aren't as good. I'm not sure how you get that everything should be equal. If you do a better job than your competitors then people use your products. If they use your products, they have to live by your rules. Seems pretty simple.
  • Agreed
  • I don't agree that they are universally "better". I use Google and Bing and the results are typically very similar.
  • How about EU come up with a competitor. Life sucks . Nothing going on except jealousy and trying to stick it to a US company . Man up
  • Prices for what? Google is basically free.
    Ever hear of Bing, use them. What's the problem?
  • +1
  • Derpity derp, derp, derp, derp.
  • Derp? Such an intelligent and well thought-out response. You shall go places in this world.
  • This seems like a money grab by EU politicians and governments. No one forces internet users to use Google search. If another company made a better product then everyone would be free to use it. If people choose Google, then why should Google be punished?
  • +1
  • +One
  • Definitely a cash grab. And attention. They don't have the tech to back any significant competition, so they try to leave a fine. Even if this fine is $2B, it's like a slap on he wrist. We're talking about nothing really, this is like a $40 fine to regular people.
  • $2B is a lot more than a slap on the wrist to Google. Think of how many employees that'd pay for. It's not like Google is a ten trillion dollar (or more) company, your $40 comparison is ludicrous. Their 2016 revenue was USD 89.5 billion. Do you really think a "regular" person earns only $1800 a year?
  • Looks like the EU hate any successful US company trading in Europe. Just another money grab.
  • Exactly
  • Of course
  • What about Google's manipulation of Top news pushing their agenda?
  • This isn't about news.
  • Looks like the EU may need some Freedom and Liberation which can be wonderfully executed by the ever experienced USA Deep State.
  • Agree
  • Just time for the US to target a successful EU based company((ies) and hit them with an equivalent fine.
  • When Microsoft another successful American firm was fined nobody said was a money grab. Now is Google and the EU is unfair. Yeah what do we expect from readers from an Android site???
  • Cause Google is like Paul Rudd everybody loves him
  • Apparently the EU doesn't like it that much and everybody who uses Android that is.
  • I had no idea the EU was so ...Needy.
  • What a bunch of freeloading babies. Got get your own Google......
  • I find it strange how personally some Americans (or maybe just 'Muricans...) Take this stuff... It's a multinational mega-corp being sanctioned, not your dog being kicked.
  • Because in this space we've yet to see this kind of aggression other than towards us companies. At least not that I'm aware of. Which wreaks of hypocrisy, something that's viewed negatively regardless if you are American or not.
  • Your realize it's absolutely ok to have auto correct misfire on a mobile app right? Hopefully you don't forget your meds tomorrow...
  • That should be "Reeks, not wreaks, you moron". Two commas!
  • Because we're all used to politicians rolling over and playing dead to corporate interests. We're used to politicians who are bought and paid for, who do what they're told to do because that's how they earn their rewards. As GM goes, so goes the nation! Slap the hand that feeds you? Why that's just rude and unappreciative.... and, socialism!
  • LOL! Keep supporting the ”American" company that hid billions of $ in off-shore accounts to avoid paying American taxes. They transferred billions of American $ to Europe to avoid paying taxes.
  • Yep, but wouldn't you do the same? I would.
  • Can't blame anyone for doing things that are LEGAL, blame the system not the companies. If I could legally get away with not paying tax on my earnings then I would
  • "Can't blame anyone for doing things that are LEGAL" Likewise, you can't blame the EU for telling companies to stop breaking it's trading rules and impose a fine if they do.
  • Google could just pay the fine and legal fees and keep doing business as usual.
  • That is actually what will happen. End of story. Pay the fine , business as usual.
  • No, usually anti-trust cases have fines, plus remedies, including additional penalties, if the remedies aren't met.
  • Just to point out. Two of the mega corps mentioned pushing the EU on this are US mega corps. So, US complains to EU about US. EU goes to sanction US. US complains about EU. I hope that makes it clear. I still firmly believe this is about tax. If they paid what they morally owed this would go away. Rather than using complex structures with the sole purpose of avoiding tax.
  • The complex structures were developed by the governments, most often to allow breaks to themselves, family and/or friends. So since each has his or her own pet loopholes, you end up with a more and more convoluted system over time as each puts in their own set of protections. Then they get mad when others use the system. They wrote it, they can close all the loopholes pretty easily but don't want to since it would mean they and their friends would also have to pay what they 'morally' owed.
  • I agree. But it still doesn't mean it's moral.
  • And the fine is $2.7bn and 90 days to put it's house in order or more fines to come. Google are expected to appeal.
  • Where's the information stating that this has been part of a SEVEN year investigation??? Or that antitrust/anti competition complaints is brought about by other companies, like Microsoft? Hello?
  • This is not about the ongoing AdSense case, but about Google Shopping results. The EU have quite a few antitrust cases against Google right now. And all you guys saying the EU is picking on US companies, only 15% of their cases were US firms. The rest being European firms. Google is always doing shady stuff, that's why I use as few of their services as possible, and cut Google out of my S8 as much as possible.
  • For all those who are offended by this action -
    Google is not a Patriotic Company and definitely not "American". It is Amoral money making machine which is solely designed to bring profits for the investors from across the globe. They will all disregard the laws or any social costs when it pays off and in doing so, at times the penalties paid might be greater than amounts cashed in - everybody can miscalculate.
    So, stop whining. Nobody is "Anti - American" here nor "Money Grabber". Though, Considering that Google is deeply involved with the State Department, you can assume they represent "US interest" to some extent, but even then that is not truly your interest - We all know how much surveillance state cares about it's citizens.