Google has been targeted by European antitrust authorities for over five years, ever since the internet giant was accused of taking part in an alleged conspiracy of competitors, in which Google has been reportedly taking major steps to limit their competitor’s prominence around the company’s own services, especially on its search engine. Back in April, the European Commission had yet to start a formal investigation on the company’s putative antitrust violations, and after three months of inquiring into Google’s way of functioning, the EC has finally laid out their demands for the accused company. The antitrust authorities dictated that if Google fails to meet these demands, a significant fine will be imposed over the company.
On Thursday, the European Commission detailed in the form of several letters directed to Google, the objections that the 28-member bloc had. This is the last step that the European Commission is taking to limit Google’s activities in the continent, the five-year case is finally heading into a resolution. For the first time since the case began, the necessary changes by Google and exactly how much would the company be fined if these are not met. The current online market share that Google holds in Europe is approximately of 90 percent whereas in the United States it only controls 65 percent. The fines detailed by the European Commission will vary depending on the amount of revenue Google makes with its own AdWords service and product queries on the company’s search engine.
The main goal of the European Antitrust Authorities is to give other smaller companies a chance to grow without Google limiting them by only publicizing their own products and services. The huge amount of control Google has over the whole internet has created a discontent amongst their rivals, such as Microsoft and Yelp. This is not the first time the European commission has targeted a major tech company, as prior to the Google case the EC was trying bring down the power Microsoft had with Internet Explorer and wanted the browser to stop being shipped with every Windows install. If Google doesn’t take the European Commission’s threats seriously, a fine of over $6.5 billion would be implemented, which is more than 10 percent of Google’s annual revenue.