The European commission has fined the search engine giant Google for abusing its power by promoting its own shopping comparison service at the top of search results.
Google has been fined 2.42bn euros ($2.7bn; £2.1bn).
The ruling also orders Google to end its anti-competitive practices within 90 days or face a further penalty.
In a statement, one of the anti trust official stated that, Google denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate. And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation.
The decision could now set a precedent that determines how the EU’s civil service handles related complaints about the prominence Google gives to its own maps, flight price results and local business listings within its search tools.
Google’s flagship product is the Google search engine, which provides search results to consumers, who pay for the service with their data. Almost 90% of Google’s revenues stem from adverts, such as those it shows consumers in response to a search query.
Comparison shopping services rely to a large extent on traffic to be competitive. More traffic leads to more clicks and generates revenue. Furthermore, more traffic also attracts more retailers that want to list their products with a comparison shopping service. Given Google’s dominance in general internet search, its search engine is an important source of traffic for comparison shopping services.