Brussels // The European Commission on Tuesday fines with a record-breaking 2.42 billion euro ($2.7bn) for abusing its dominance as a search engine and giving an illegal advantage to one of its own products.
In addition, the EC requires the company to terminate its conduct within a period of 90 days, otherwise it will face penalty payments of up to 5% of Google’s worldwide average daily income, Alphabet.
In a statement, the Commission said the search engine was breaching European Union anti-trust rules by giving an illegal advantage to its comparison shopping service.
“Google abused its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results, and demoting those of competitors,” said Margrethe Vestager, the commissioner for competition.
The EC said that, when consumers searched for a product on the Google search engine, results linked to the “Google Shopping” service would be promoted while those linked to rival services would be downgraded.
Brussels said, Google’s comparison shopping service has increased its traffic 45-fold in the United Kingdom, 35-fold in Germany, 19-fold in France, 29-fold in the Netherlands, 17-fold in Spain and 14-fold in Italy”.
Meanwhile, some rival services lost up to 85 percent of their traffic in the UK, 92 percent in Germany and 80 percent in France.
Google “has denied other companies the opportunity to compete on the basis of their merits and innovation” and “more importantly, has denied European consumers a true choice of services and the full benefits of innovation,” he added.
Google vice-president and legal adviser Kent Walker said they disagreed with the conclusion the Commission and did not rule out an appeal.
“We will review the Commission’s decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case,” he added.
He explained that, when consumers used Google to find products, the search engine displayed relevant results and Google Shopping did not come up more frequently because of favoritism.
Walker said the EC should consider that many other shopping comparison pages, such as Amazon and eBay, had grown throughout the same period, which could explain why other rivals were not doing so well.
Walker said the EC should consider other comparison shopping pages, such as Amazon or eBay, growing during the same period, which could explain that other rivals were not doing so well.
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Exercise of comprehension B.1
Lee la noticia y responde las preguntas. (Read the news and answer the questions)
la CE ha multado a Google.
la CE no ha multado a Google.
la CE podría multar a Google.
no tendrá que pagar ninguna multa.
ha favorecido ilegalmente sus productos.
no ha hecho nada ilegal.
solo tendrá que pagar esa multa.
tendrá que pagar más dinero.
tendrá que pagar menos.
perjudicó a sus competidores notablemente.
favoreció a todo el mundo.
a penas perjudicó a sus competidores.
No se sabe.
Exercise of vocabulary B.1
Congratulations - you have completed .
You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%.
Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%
cumplir la ley.
reformar una ley.
no cumplir la ley.
tiene más visitas.
tiene el mismo número de visitas.
tiene menos visitas.
lo tiene en cuenta.
Review grammar notes: direct and indirect object