European Union hits Google with record $2.73 billion fine for abusing internet search monopoly

“The European Union has fined Google €2.42bn [US$2.73 billion] after a seven-year investigation into claims the technology giant abused its internet search monopoly,” James Titcomb reports for The Telegraph. “The penalty is the biggest ever competition fine from the European Commission, doubling the previous record handed to Intel in 2009.”

“The EU said Google had broken EU competition law by exploiting the power of its search engine to promote its online shopping service, at the expense of other price comparison sites,” Titcomb reports. “It said that when internet users searched Google for products such as clothes or electronics, the results would prominently and boldly feature Google’s own price comparison service and relegate rivals.”

“Google said the company would consider an appeal,” Titcomb reports. “Separately, the EU is still investigating Google abusing the dominance of its Android operating system and its AdSense advertising network.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last July:

Imagine if your livelihood depended on one company that had not only monopolized web search (and, thereby, basically controlled how new customers find you), but also controlled the bulk of online advertising dollars which funded your business and which they could pull, simply threaten to pull, or reduce rates at any time? Now also imagine if you believe this monopolist basically stole the product of another company that is the very subject of your business? How much would you criticize the monopolist thief’s business practices?

You might guess that it would be a tough road to walk. (We’re only imagining, of course!)

That would be a good example of why monopolies are bad for everyone.

The U.S. government has utterly failed to police Google. Because the people with the power to do so currently are corrupt. Follow the money. Hopefully, the European Union will help to correct the situation.

In the meantime, stop using Google search and Google products wherever possible. Monopolies are bad for everyone.

SEE ALSO:
Google could face a $9 billion EU fine for rigging search results in its favor – June 2, 2017
Google attempts to defend Android in European Commission antitrust case – November 10, 2016
EU alleges Google skews search results to boost its own products and services – July 14, 2016
EU charges Google rigs global market for Android mobile apps – April 20, 2016
The Android bubble bursts as Europeans flock to Apple’s iPhone – September 2, 2015
Android loss continues in Europe as 27% of smartphone users dump Android for Apple iPhone – September 2, 2015
Android fanboy actually uses an iPhone for 2 months, dumps Android phone – August 11, 2015
Apple iPhone sees highest switching rate from Android ever recorded – August 10, 2015
Nomura ups Apple to ‘Buy’ on strong iPhone growth, increasing Android switchers – July 31, 2015
Significant Android to iPhone switching weakens market for Samsung Galaxy S6 – March 24, 2015
Analyst: Android switchers fueling iPhone growth; Android users even more interested in Apple Watch than iOS users – March 23, 2015
Over 85% of new iPhone sales are switchers, mostly from Android – January 30, 2015
Google’s Android: The Fisher Price of smartphones, training wheels for Apple’s iPhone – May 2, 2014

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz,” “Lynn Weiler,” “Elboe,” and “Jeffrey Bilings” for the heads up.]

53 Comments

  1. Google went from “Do No Evil” to “Do Nothing BUT Evil” in short order. Without a set of enforced guidelines human and company’s nature is to keep taking and taking by any means necessary. Especially after the realization no one is stopping them or their bold moves.

  2. The U.S. Governmant has utterly failed to police Google? My my. I’m surprised to see MDN calling for greater government regulation. Even on Google. When using Google, it is obvious what is going on when you are shopping. All that is necessary is to skip over their stuff. Once in a while they do come back with the best prices in their sponsored section.

      1. It’s no surprise that we are living in a hypocritical nation. How dare this country pride itself on “freedom” and “liberty” when it didn’t even outlaw Jim Crow until the 1970s, the very decade I was BORN in. This is living history. The fact that people today are being surprised by this either are ignorant of history, or are whites who can’t see past their privilege. What a disgusting country we are slaves to.

            1. “A sharp increase in black unemployment reached its peak of 16.8 percent in March, 2010, about a year after former President Obama’s 2009 inauguration, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.”

              you lose.

              again.

            2. Ok… and your point… there were a lot of things going on then with the housing melt down and and and… you know what I mean. Those niggardly details that color your racist screed and show just how much of a fool you are.

            3. doublethink |ˈdəbəlˌTHiNGk|
              noun
              the acceptance of or mental capacity to accept contrary opinions or beliefs at the same time, especially as a result of political indoctrination.
              ORIGIN
              1949: coined by George Orwell in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

            4. hey bottwipe. sorry about the botwipe spelling earlier. Your true name is bottwipe and I typed botwipe. You do know about true names, don’t you since we are bringing up topical references.

              Amazing book. I do like the Richard Burton version. Last movie he did.

              Who would you be bottwipe? Winston or his woman. Maybe Winston as he knows something is wrong but doesn’t really want to face it.

            5. I bet you think that that applies to my vast range of experiences. Experiences that have molded me and allowed me to see through your bullshit?

              LOL… Tell you the truth bottwipe, if this was a tribal encampment, village… town…hell, any environment where elders and the experienced were listened to, you would be sitting at my feet soaking in my experience and wisdom. But no, I’m black, my bottload of experience included jail timeand I am a Liberal to boot.

              So yeah. You may “assume” doublethink, but at least my mind is not shoved in a box, sealed tight against any ideas or thoughts. Cockholster.

            6. What makes you hope someone as astonishingly brilliant and handsome as I would be remotely interested in anything about your sordid life?

            7. Because presumably, you are here for the computers or are you so much of a coward that you hide on a computer site to spew your vile opinions?

              I get it. bottwipe got an iPhone a few years ago so decided to hang around the Mac oriented site since he really didn’t have anything intelligent to say politically.

            8. Botwipe. Did I ever tell you about the Atari User Group i startted. Well, sponsored would be more like it. I was influential for the name. Seattle*PugetSound*Atari*Computer*Enthusiast. S*P*A*C*E Group. This was in 81. I was the President in 82. Alan Kay came up to bring us the Atari ROM listings. Most of our meeting that night was asking questions of him. you know who Alan Kay is?

            9. Wha..!!, wait. “Winning for America” Ha ha ha ha ha! What a joke! Should be: “Winning for Russia”! or “Winning for the White Billionaires Boys Club!”

              With this orange ass-clown in office, America, and the world loses every day and in every way!

              Oh bot-wipe, you so dumb and you so funny! Why don’t you move to Kiev where you would fit in so well? I hear critical thinking skills are not required there, in fact, they are discouraged – just the way you like it!

  3. Yes, monopolies are bad for everyone. But Google Search is really really good. There’s a good reason people who abandon Google Search return after a few weeks or months — you get sick of weeding through pages of terrible search results.

    1. I switched to DDG many years ago and even in those days it provided more relevant search results than Google and DDG has been getting even better since then. In the early days I used to use Google very occasionally, if DDG didn’t come up with what I was looking for, but I don’t need to do that any more.

      I occasionally have to use Google on a client’s computer and find it frustrating to see so much crap alongside the stuff that properly meets my search criteria.

  4. This article or the reality that surrounds it does not seem fair.

    I am a little lost on this. I don’t like Google’s practices, but if we want to judge things fairly…

    Isn’t Google’s search, their “Play Ground?”

    If you are in K-Mart’s parking lot or anywhere inside, and you want to buy shoes, do you have to expect the prices of K-Mart’s shoe prices to be promptly displayed along with Walmart’s shoe prices?

    When it comes to Google’s assets, are we supposed to assume that Google’s search is akin Disneyland, their “Mall” and “Park” where there is a lot of retail, but Disney is promptly displayed “EVERYWHERE” and they take a huge cut of all sales?

    Is it more like Google’s advertising and store front is supposed to end where search begins? That maybe they should have a separate merchant search, more like going to Amazon, than a general search that pulls everything? Example here, Google Scholar is separate, for peer reviewed articles.

    I have never purchased anything based solely on the results of a Google search. I will use Google, and DuckDuckGo, to “RESEARCH” and then decide to buy from a reputable brick and mortar or other large online retailer/market place.

    I don’t know, just trying to be honest here, and I simply wonder if this is a EU money grab from another successful US based company or if it’s an honest attempt to bring fairness and openness to the World Wide Web, no matter where the on-ramp leads.

    1. Monopolies are fine in certain segments of the economy and, in the US, legal.

      Predatory monopolies such as Microsoft and Google that leverage its dominance to destroy the competition are not.

      1. I am asking what specifically, as an example, are businesses hurt by Google’s and Apples practices. What, besides a declaration must a company provide apart from their own services that make others whole? The litmus test is, how would this be different if Google or Apple weren’t there? I mean what would happen if they took their ball home and no one would get to play the game?

    2. I understand your concern. But, what the EU is upset about is that Google prioritizes itself or its advertisers over others. So, if you search for results for best hotel in Switzerland, you will get the one that advertised the most on Google. If you do the same search on DDG you will get completely different results based on unbiased responses (supposedly). When you are the gatekeeper and businesses are paying you, it is in your best interest to help them. So, there is a conflict of interest when you search via Google. Do they give you the results YOU want or the results their ADVERTISERS want? Guess who’s been catered to? Hence EU lawsuit.

      1. Okay this sounds a lot better. I am thinking outside my better judgement. If Google were to behave as requested, what is the point of advertising at all? Either you are the best or you paid for higher/highest placement. In Googles POV, they would want the best to pay and then the results would be the same.

        I do get the idea of conflict of interest. That’s the best explanation. You can’t claim to be a non-biased or “Best in Class” search engine when the search results show advertisers on the first page and real hits are on page two.

        Isn’t that an education thing? I mean you and I could overcome this. Realizing they are not best in class, we should consider alternate sources of information. But if they are the only in class, that’s hard to do.

        Maybe if they created the category or made it the best to the point of being sole survivor, it is us who have to adjust and not them. Or maybe they need to be cut off at the knees. Can’t be too big to push around, I suppose.

        If the EU makes any claim for 2 billion dollars, it has to be justified and non-hypocritical.

        I see a lot of businesses over time invest greatly in their success and then be told they have to make room in their own “casa” for the little guy. I can see that as a public service. A portion of your gains goes back to support the community and your peers. I just don’t know how that could work.

  5. I am not a google user. I would rather not find what I am looking for than use google.

    However, I do see the EU as abusing its power. Google defined search engines. I can see the EU dictating that Apple sell MS and PCs in the future in the name of choice. There is only a smidgen of difference between what the EU allows as “open commerce” and “monopoly”. They are not but a pen stroke away from declaring who can sell what if it doesn’t suit their needs or doesn’t bring in their expected income.

    Google can and will fall based on people’s choices. The EU doesn’t care about people’s choices but their own dictatorial equality concept.

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