Business Law & Compliance

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Google may be facing a record-breaking EU fine

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The internet giant has been accused of abusing its position in Europe, where it accounts for 90 per cent of search traffic, and has failed to give “equal prominence” to rival search engines.

The dispute started in 2010 when rivals complained about how search results were displayed. Google agreed to “reserve space near the top of its European search pages for competitor,” whereby rivals could bid for a spot via an auction.

Of course, complaints were made, largely by the fact that Google would be making money off the changes.

“Microsoft was investigated [by the EC] for 16 years, which is four times as much as the Google investigation has taken, and there are more problems with Google than there were with Microsoft,” said Almunia.

He also suggested that the EC competition group could investigate the preferential positioning of Google in its Android operating system.

“At the beginning of the month I have communicated this to the company asking them to improve these proposals,” Almunia concluded. “We now need to see if Google can address these issues and allay our concerns.”

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