The European Commission is expected to levy a record fine against Google as the result of a seven-year inquiry into tech giant’s violation of anti-trust rules.
According to a report from the Telegraph, the European Commission is currently considering a fine in the range of $3.4 billion (3 billion euros). A sum that high would be the largest penalty fee issued by the commission and more than double the previous record-holder of nearly 1.1 billion euros levied against Intel in 2009.
But the commission has even more upward leeway. The maximum possible fine is a tenth of Google’s total annual sales, which amounts to nearly 6.6 billion euros.
Any fine from the European Commission would signal that body’s rejection of Google’s defense arguments, which were expected to be submitted following the commission’s formal findings in April that Google abused its market dominance.
At the time, the commission said Google had run afoul of anti-trust rules by requiring manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Google’s Chrome browser. The commission also took issue with Google’s additional requirements that manufacturers set Google Search as the default search service on devices and refrain from selling devices that run on competing operating systems based on the Android open source code. The tech giant was also accused of giving financial incentives to manufacturers and operators to exclusively pre-install Google Search on their devices.
The commission said Google’s actions “seem to harm consumers by stifling competition and restricting innovation in the wider mobile space.”
Whatever the sum, The Telegraph said Google will have the option to appeal the fine and the European Commission’s search rules to the European Court of Justice.
But Google’s troubles with the European Commission may not be over, fine or not.
The company’s AdSense platform is also under investigation for giving “systematic favorable treatment” to its own Google Shopping results.
Filed Under: Industry regulations