The European Union's antitrust regulator on Tuesday fined Alphabet Inc.'s Google a record EUR2.42 billion ($2.71 billion) for favoring its own comparison-shopping service in search results and ordered the search giant to apply the same methods to rivals as its own when displaying their services in search results.
The decision could force broader changes to the way Google designs its search results in Europe because it sets a possible precedent for other search services, such as travel and maps, which the EU is also scrutinizing.
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"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 EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager. "What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules."
The EU said Google must treat rival comparison shopping services equally in its search results. Google has 90 days to end the conduct or face penalty payments of up to 5% of average daily global revenue, the EU said.
Google is tasked with ensuring compliance and should explain how it intends to implement the decision, the EU said.
Google can appeal the decision to the bloc's highest courts.
The decision is the first of three separate advanced investigations by the commission into Google's practices. The EU is continuing to probe Google over its Android mobile operating system and its Adsense advertising service.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 27, 2017 06:11 ET (10:11 GMT)