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EU Fines Google $2.7 Billion

  • VOA News

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager holds a news conference at the EU Commission's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, June 27, 2017.

EU antitrust regulators fined Google $2.7 billion Tuesday for unfairly boosting search results for its online shopping service.

The European Union said Google began efforts in 2008 to boost the service now known as Google Shopping by making its results show up higher in search results, while demoting the search results of rival companies.

The result, according to regulators, was the most highly ranked rival services appeared on average on the fourth page of the results, an area few consumers ever reach.

EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Google has created many innovative products, but in this case abused its market dominance in internet searches.

Google said it will review the EU decision as it considers an appeal to the decision.

"When you shop online, you want to find the products you are looking for quickly and easily. And advertisers want to promote those same products. That is why Google shows shopping ads, connecting our users with thousands of advertisers, large and small, in ways that are useful for both," Kent Walker, a Google senior vice president, said in a statement.

Vestager said Google denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate, and denied European consumers a genuine choice of service.

In addition to the fine, Google is required to give rival comparison shopping services equal treatment, and the company must explain how it will accomplish that.

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