The European Commission may impose its largest ever fine on a company for misbehaving – and for Alphabet’s Google, it could just be the start.
The Sunday Telegraphreports that the Commission is considering a fine “in the region of €3bn” for Google’s anti-competitive search practices – or around half of Google’s European income.
This dwarves the largest antitrust fine the Commission has imposed so far, the €1.06bn imposed on Intel in 2009. Intel was judged to have paid OEMs not to sell computers with rival AMD’s chips inside.
The fine results from an investigation into the giant’s search practices, which the Commission began in 2010 and concluded in 2012. Google’s search results page is both a “neutral” platform and a shop-window for its own services. Google was accused of destroying competition by demoting results in its “organic” search to promote its own products.