Google is primarily known as a search engine, but because the results on its search pages also promote products that the company seeks to sell itself, it also is an antitrust regulation violator, according to the European Union. Asserting that the search algorithm prioritizes Google-related products and services over competitive options, the EU has determined that Google’s actions hinder competition. The exact fines and penalties have yet to be determined, but EU rules allow the penalties to be as much as 10 percent of the company’s annual revenues. In addition, the ultimate outcome likely will require Google to place its own offerings on equal footing with competitors’. That’s good news for some other web sources, such as News Corp., which has long complained about Google’s tactics. Google denies the allegations, claiming that promoting competitive products would mean that its search capabilities would be damaged, as it would be promoting links that it believes do not match users’ needs as well. Furthermore, in the United States, Google has successfully defended against antitrust allegations thus far.
Source: Natalia Drozdiak, The Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2017