Search engine giant Google took a major his this Tuesday, after European antitrust officials fined them with a record $2.7 billion, as they were found guilty of favoring its own services over those of their rivals, says The New York Times.
The penalty is just another proof that the European officials have adopted an incredibly aggressive stance in regulating tech companies and the fine applied to Google is more than double the previous largest one, in a similar antitrust case.
A lot of major players on the tech market are under pressure
The above-mentioned source also reveals that the European Union’s antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, wants all companies to respect the rules, no matter where they are based in.
“In Europe, companies must compete on the merits, regardless if they are European or not,” she said on Tuesday. “What Google has done is illegal under E.U. antitrust rules.”
Lately, EU antitrust officials have focused a lot on Silicon Valley and, like expected, the accusations that the Union is unfairly targeting American companies came quickly. Of course, they were all denied by the EU.
Google is not the first to receive a big fine from the EU
Over the past years, Margrethe Vestager kept an eye on several big tech companies from the United States. Apple, for example, was demanded to repay $14.5 billion in back taxes in Ireland, while Amazon was the subject of an investigation regarding taxed practices in Europe. Finally, Facebook’s gathering and handling of data was also questioned. All companies deny any type of wrongdoing.
As for Google, even though the fine they received is huge, it’s not actually such a big deal, considering that the company generates over $90 billion in annual revenue. However, it should come as a warning for other companies! Also, they need to make several changes, in order to comply with the antitrust decision, which will eventually leave them vulnerable to regular monitoring of its search algorithm.