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EU fines Google $2.7billion for breaching competition rules

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Per Second News—The European Union’s competition watchdog slapped Google with a record-breaking $2.72 billion fine on Tuesday for breaching antitrust rules with its online shopping service.

The announcement marks the latest clash between European regulators and large U.S. technology companies like Google, Apple and Amazon that have been ensnared in lengthy antitrust, tax and privacy-related investigations by European officials.

Regulators said Google “abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service.”

The European Commission said the technology firm “gave prominent placement in its search results only to its own comparison shopping service, whilst demoting rival services. It stifled competition on the merits in comparison shopping markets.”

The Commission, which oversees EU competition rules, gave the Mountain View, Calif., company 90 days to stop or face fines of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of parent company Alphabet.

Last year, Alphabet had a turnover of just over $90 billion, meaning the additional daily fine would amount to about $12.3 million per day.

Google has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. Kent Walker, a senior vice president for the firm, said it would review the Commission’s findings, and may appeal.

“When you shop online, you want to find the products you’re looking for quickly and easily. And advertisers want to promote those same products. That’s why Google shows shopping ads, connecting our users with thousands of advertisers, large and small, in ways that are useful for both,” he said.

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