The EU just fined Google a record 2.42 billion euros

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Announcing the decision, European Union antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager stressed that dominant companies have special "responsibilities" not to hinder competition, the Wall Street Journal reports. Thousands of European merchants use these ads to compete with larger companies like Amazon and eBay.

"Most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation". "The Commission confirmed that consumers do not see what is most relevant for them on the world's most used search engine but rather what is best for Google", said Monique Goyens, the Director General of European Union consumer group, BEUC.

It will now have to make a number of changes to its Google Shopping service, according to competition lawyers. He said that the Commission is behind the times on technology adoption.

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Under EU rules, if Google does not end its search engine manipulation practices within 90 days, it will face penalty payments of five percent of the average daily worldwide turnover of parent company Alphabet.

Google is facing additional complaints regarding the prominence it gives to its other services - including Maps and local listings - in its search site, and today's ruling could give those grievances a major boost.

The fine signalled a tough stance by the agency in the first of three investigations into the company's dominance in searches and smartphones.

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Download the Nigeria Today app from Play store. "And advertisers want to promote those same products", Mr Kent Walker, Google's senior vice-president and general counsel, said in a statement. This isn't necessarily wrong, but it shows that the EC values a fair market more than good products.

It's understood this is the highest fine of its type ever handed done to a corporation by the European Commission. It's also very unfair to the other competitors.

The decision follows Russia's US$7.8 million (S$10.8 million) antitrust fine and penalties from the Italian, German and French privacy authorities.

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Google entered separate market of comparison shopping in Europe in 2004 with "Froogle", later renamed Google Product Search in 2008 and then Google Shopping in 2013. The commission ruled that this preferential treatment of its own content is illegal and anti-competitive. And if you're the king of search, as Google is, and you have aspirations of being a major player in ecommerce then you could abuse your power in search to queue jump your competitors. "We will review the Commission's decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case", the statement continued.

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