After $2.7 billion fine, now EU anti-trust boss says Google a ‘wonderful’ company

Months after slapping a fine of $2.7 billion on Google, the Europe’s top competition commissioner said that search giant does not have a bad attitude towards competition and it is still a ‘wonderful’ company. While talking to a private channel on the sideline of Ambrosetti Forum, a major international economic and policy conference, in Lake Como, Italy, European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that US-based tech giant is still very much a force for good and has many positive attributes.

When asked about the hefty fine imposed on the company, she said that it was about legal behaviour of the company and they should correct it. “This is a decision about legal behavior that they should and can correct,” she told CNBC.

She empahsised that California headquartered firm is a wonderful company that brought innovation and have changed the life of people. “In other respects, Google is a wonderful company, very, very innovative and they have brought us innovation that has changed our lives,” channel quoted her as saying.

The most visited website of the world was investigated by the European Commission on several fronts for concerns over abusing its dominant power in online search space. After months of investigation and hearing the arguments from different sides, EU top anti-trust body had fined Google $2.72 billion for breaching EU antitrust rules in June, 2017.

In its ruling, the commission had said that “Google has abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service.” It had asked Google to end the practice within 90 days or face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

At that time also, Vestager has praised company for its innovative services but asked it to end its illegal practice of promoting its own products. “Google has come up with many innovative products and services that have made a difference to our lives. That’s a good thing. But Google’s strategy for its comparison shopping service wasn’t just about attracting customers by making its product better than those of its rivals. Instead, Google abused its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results, and demoting those of competitors,” she said in a statement.

EU top competition watchdog had said “What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules. It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate. And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation.”

According to reports, last week Google has submitted details of how it planned to stop favoring its shopping service and comply with the EU order. On the other hand, regulators are continuing to investigate two other charges, including whether the Android mobile operating system is being used to promote other Google products at an unfair disadvantage to rivals.

Anti-TrustEUgoogleMargrethe Vestager
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