A record fine will hit Google for abusing its power over internet search, 7 years after the EU started investigating the innovation giant.
The fine will surpass the previous €1.1bn (£1bn) record damages Intel was forced to pay in 2009, and the EU may also require that Google make modifications to its search outcomes so that it is not seen to favour its service.
Google claims that its approach to online shopping services has been good for buyers and sellers, and says it is not a monopoly player in online purchasing. It said websites such as Amazon and eBay have made internet shopping more competing.
The committee has the authority to penalise Google up to 10% of its annual income, or $9bn (£7bn). It has already claimed that the company is exploiting competition by favouring its shopping service, saying it has a “duty to act” to protect customers.
“We continue to engage constructively with the European Commission, and we believe strongly that our innovations in online shopping have been good for shoppers, retailers, and competition,” Google said. The commission did not comment.
Google has a 90% share of Internet searches in Europe, giving it the power to direct how internet users search the web. In recent years its shopping service has been given priority in searches for electronics, hotels, flights and other products and services.
A penalty could lead to a string of cases against Google from price comparison shopping websites seeking damages.