EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager announced today that the EU Commission imposed a record penalty of 2.42 billion euro on Google. As the European competition authority, the EU Commission accuses Google, among other things, of preferring its own services in the shopping search engine and thus to discriminate against those of others. The EU Commission has been investigating allegations against the company since April 2015. The economic and financial policy spokesman for the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament, Sven Giegold, said:
“Europe proves its muscles against the abuse of market power in the digital economy . Strong action against the unfair practices of Google is the right path to fair competition in online shopping. EU Commissioner Vestager proves once again that she is not intimidated by excessive economic power. The EU Commission is the leading force in the fight against the abuse of dominant market positions in the digital sector. Google’s case shows how important Europe is for the protection of small and medium-sized businesses.
More important than the penalty is that Google is adapting its business practices. Fair competition in the digital sector necessitates the same conditions for all actors. It is a serious abuse of market power when Google pushes its own products in the search results ahead of others. Google has to ensure now equal opportunities in its shopping search. The Google case also shows how much we need a joint supervision in Europe for digital mega companies, which is modeled on the Common European banking supervisor.”