The European Union is set to impose a hefty fine of roughly $3 billion Google parent Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) in the next few weeks.
The massive $3 billion fine to be charged to Google is the result of the longstanding antitrust investigations that the regulatory body has been carrying out. The case was launched in 2010 over allegations that the internet giant has been taking advantage of its dominant position to promote its shopping services through search results. The EU has accused the company of giving priority to its products and services in search results.
Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that Google does not intend to settle on the case after three failed attempts to compromise over the past six years. The company claims that it will not settle on the claims unless the EU changes its position on the allegations. Sources also told The Telegraph that the EU officials might announce the fine as early as May, but it is yet to finalize the bill. It also wrote that the internet giant will be forced to stop manipulating search results in its favor so that there can be a level playing field for competitors.
The European Commission can institute a fine of up to 10% of the company’s sales on an annual basis. In Google’s case, the maximum fine that can be imposed is roughly €6 billion which would break the fine record set by Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC). In 2009, the latter was fined €1.1 billion over antitrust issues for carrying out anti-competitive measures against rival firm Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD).
Neither Google nor the EU has issued out any comments on the matter. Google has recently been finding itself on bad terms with regulators in the UK. A month ago the firm faced more antitrust issues regarding the Android OS. The watchdog claims that the firm has been taking advantage of its dominant position by restricting network operators and manufacturers of Android devices.