EU anti-trust regulator to slap Google with record fine

Vastavam web: The EU’s powerful anti-trust regulator will slap Google with a record fine as early as tomorrow in another European blow against a US tech giant, sources said.Led by hard-charging European Commission competition chief Margrethe Vestager, the EU will impose a massive penalty against Google that would break the previous record of 1.06 billion euros set in 2009 against Intel, the US chipmaker. The decision, expected tomorrow or on Wednesday, comes a year after Vestager shocked the world and angered the Obama administration with an order that Apple repay 13 billion euros in back taxes in Ireland.

Sources close to the matter said Google’s fine would range 1.1-2.0 billion euros. While an EU record, this is well below the maximum possible of about 8.0 billion euros or 10 percent of Google’s total revenue last year.In the other Google cases, the EU is examining Google’s Adsense advertising service and its Android mobile phone software.If confirmed, the fine would come after a long period in which the two sides tried to settle the case amicably.”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,” said Mark Jansen, a spokesman for Google.

The Commission, which polices EU competition policy, launched an initial investigation into Google in 2010 following complaints from rivals such as Microsoft and Trip Adviser that it favored its own shopping services when customers ran searches.