Google just got a hefty fine from the European Antitrust Monitor: $2.72 biiiillion (€2.42 billion)
I've never relied on Google's shopping results as I'm an Amazon fan, but apparently they tanked their competitor's traffic in the EU.

Of course, they plan on appealing but I wonder what this means for their strategy moving forward.
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Santos
So they're complaining that Google is using in Europe to promote Google's online shopping services as a higher priority over other EU shopping services?  Seriously?

I don't get it.  Did Google sign something saying they would have to abide by these rules?

Author Comment

by:Sina May
My understanding is, as soon as you start doing business in a country, you have to abide by the country's regulations so that sets them up for the inquiry.

The monitor's specific argument in this case was that Google was ranking their shopping service over competitor results regardless of relevance. They've keyed in on the fact that Google doesn't penalize their own results for the same things they'd penalize a competitor for.

It's also a bigger issue there than in the US because it has +90% of the search marketshare in most EU countries.

Google has been tried for similar things in the US, but were cleared.
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:Lucas Bishop
This is pretty interesting. They're basically saying it's unfair for Google to show it's "Products" results at the top of the search engine, while other comparison shopping sites (ex. don't get the same type of placement. Unfair competition.

Seems like this could apply to half the products that they integrate into their Knowledge Panel (top/side bar).
  • Google Maps are integrated into the side-bar for local searches, unfair to Mapquest.
  • Google Reviews are integrated into the side-bar for business searches, unfair to Yelp.
  • Flights information integrated into the side-bar for flight searches, unfair to Kayak.
  • etc

Now that they're starting to integrate actual in-line tools into their results (translator, speed test, calculator, time and date, etc) any given feature that ranks above other results, could fall into unfair competition. If this holds up, the Google you see in the UK will likely be much different than the one in the US.

I'm all for fair competition, but this looks like it will reverse a lot of progress in their technology.

TripAdvisor and Yelp already tried to fly this issue up the flag pole in the US, but it was shut down.
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Santos

Expert Comment

by:Brian Matis
Very reminiscent of the Microsoft antitrust case back in 2001 re: Internet Explorer.

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