Google is facing billions of euros in antitrust fines in Europe where the Alphabet-owned company is currently investigated on a number of such fronts, including the one related to Google Search and the firm's alleged abuse of its dominant position on the market. The European Commission (EC) is currently wrapping up its probe into Google's possible violations of anti-competition regulations, with competent officials trying to conclude whether the Mountain View, California-based tech giant manipulated Google Search results in an effort to promote its shopping comparison platform at the expense of those created by its competitors. If the firm is found guilty of such a transgression, it could be fined by up to ten percent of its related revenue, which is a significant sum seeing how Alphabet posted an income of $90 billion for 2016, with Google itself accounting for $79 billion of that figure. The actual fine will be calculated based on a smaller number given the company also generates income through products other than Search, though the penalty could still be in the billions of euros, i.e. dollars.
Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager previously stated that she and her team are adamant to conclude their investigations into Google's possible misconducts in a swift manner, especially since many such probes were started even before she took office. The inspection of possible Google Search-related violations is expected to be the first one to be closed, with some industry watchers claiming that a ruling on the matter will be issued in the coming weeks. As the EC is soon set to go into a summer recess, Vestager is reportedly keen to publicize her team's findings before that and possibly recommend a historical fine for Google that could easily surpass $1.2 billion, currently the largest anti-competitive penalty issued on the Old Continent to Intel in 2009.
Companies that originally filed related anti-competitive complaints against Google with the EC believe that the European authority will issue a significant fine to the Californian firm. Apart from its Search business, Google's Android and AdSense units are also being investigated by the EC, though no rulings on their practices are expected to be made official before fall.