By Chris Smith
The European Union has three antitrust investigations into Google’s business practices, including search, Android, and its advertising business. One of them is soon going to come to an end, and Google is facing a record fine in the case, which is expected to top EU’s €1.06 billion ruling against Intel from a few years ago.
Google’s fine could go up to 10% of its yearly revenue, which topped $90.27 billion last year, The Wall Street Journal reports. A decision should be announced in the coming weeks, although Google can still appeal it. In addition to paying the fine Google would likely have to make various changes to its search business in Europe.
The EU started investigating Google’s allegedly abusive search practices in the region all the way back in 2010 and tried to settle the case a few times in the past few years, seeking various concessions from the search giant.
Google, now a subsidiary of Alphabet, the company it created to house all its various business endeavors, failed to meet the requirements of the European Commission. The previous competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia gave in to pressure from states and Google competitors and did not settle the case.
Google is accused of giving special treatment to its own products in search, which is hurting sites that are competing with Google and who depend on internet searches.
Almunia’s success Margrethe Vestager filed charges against Google in April 2015.
The US also investigated Google for its search practices but settled with the company in 2013. Earlier this year, Google was dealt an antitrust blow in Russia, in an Android-related investigation.
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