Saturday 16 December 2017

Explainer: Everything you need to know about the Google decision and what it means for you

Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

The European Commission has fined Google €2.42bn in a record decision against the tech giant over abuse of its dominance when it comes to online shopping searches.

What is it all about ?

Following a seven-year case the EU Commission has found that Google, Europe's most popular search engine, has been using its position to unfairly promote their own shopping comparison services.

The search engine demotes their competitors the EU said, which is unfair to consumers.

What does it mean for me?

Currently when a person is shopping online Google will display an image of the relevant product and the price of the item. It will also include the name of the shop where the product can be found, if this information is available. This is illustrated here:

Goodle Image1 (1).JPG

If Google cease to do this, as per the Commission’s decision, then the adds will disappear when a person searches for a product.

Instead a consumer’s search will look something like this:

Google image 2.JPG

Why was the fine so large?

The Google fine takes into account the "gravity and duration" of the market abuse, the Commission said.

But with more than $90bn in cash, Google will have no trouble paying the fine. But the decision could force Google to change the way it handles online shopping searches, a major source of advertising revenue.

What happens now?

The company has 90 days to cease the practice or it will face fines up to 5pc of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google's parent company.

However, today Google have said they may appeal the decision.

Having long rejected any wrongdoing the company said today it "respectfully disagrees" with the ruling.

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