Google suffered a major blow on Tuesday after European antitrust officials fined the search giant a record $2.7 billion for unfairly favoring some of its own search services over those of rivals. The penalty, of 2.4 billion euros, highlights the aggressive stance that European officials have taken in regulating many of the world’s largest technology companies, going significantly further than their American counterparts.
By levying the fine against Google — more than double the previous largest penalty in this type of antitrust case — Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s antitrust chief, also laid claim to being the Western world’s most active regulator of digital services, an industry still dominated by Silicon Valley. “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.” READ MORE