As the European Commission puts the final touches at Brussels in the seven yearlong case against Google for online search abuse, the Silicon Valley giant can expect a fine of about 3 billion euro.
If the numbers are true, then this will be the strictest ruling that the European Commission (EC) has ever given. And it will very easily surpass the last big fine till date, which was 1.1 billion euro and it was given to the microchip giant, Intel.
Though, 3 billion is only a ballpark figure. The maximum possible fine is 6 billion euro, which is a tenth of Google’s annual earnings.
According to the reports, officials are trying to make an announcement before the summer break. And it might be as early as next month. Though they have cautioned that the exact Google’s bill for killing competition online has not yet been finalised.
The announcement will also mark the final face-off between Google and Brussels. The Silicon Valley giant has been charged with unlawfully promoting their own services while denying any traffic to their rivals by pushing them farther on the search results page.
The stakes on the legal case were raised even more when it was claimed that the company was creating their monopoly on their Android smartphones as well.
The Competition Commissioner, Margarethe Vestager also said last week that there might be special investigations for Google’s services like maps and travel information.
The fine put upon the company takes into account the monopoly they have had for years. The European Commission is also trying to make this into an example for the rest of the tech giants since Google tried to make investigation even more difficult for them by changing their search algorithm over and over again.
Apart from the monetary fines, Google will also be banned from changing its algorithm any further to harm its rivals. The company’s main service is still its search result and it has resisted in making any changes over the last few years. Often they tried to convince governments by revamping their search results page, but it seems like that tactic isn’t going to work anymore.
The previous Competition Commissioner who was working on this case, Jaoquin Almunia, seem to have been convinced with these tactics. But it looks like the new Commissioner Vestager is out to make things right by taking a more aggressive approach.
Google has not released any comment over these reports. Even after the commission announces their fines, the company can choose to fight against it.