LONDON: Last month, the European Commission issued Google with formal anti-trust charges over Android. Now, it appears that the company could face new fines over skewing search results.
The Telegraph reports that the charges, which are yet to be finalised, would be the result of “a seven-year investigation of [the] company’s dominant search engine”. It’s not clear exactly what form the charges may take, but sources tell the newspaper that the Commission plans to make an announcement about it in the next couple of months.
The newspaper explains that the charges the Commission is to level at Google could add up to an incredibly high fine. Sources tell the newspaper that the maximum fine facing Google could total almost $US7 billion ($9.6 billion) — a tenth of the company’s annual sales — but are more likely to be in the region of $US3 billion ($4 billion). For a little context, the previous highest fine was issued to Intel for $US1.25 ($1.7 billion).
It wouldn’t be the first time that Google has search has come under the scrutiny of the Commission. Last year, Google was charged with prioritising results from its own shopping sites rather than those of its competitors. And earlier this year, it received charges claiming that it “abused its dominant position by imposing restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators”.
The European Commission is certainly throwing an awful lot of charges at Google. We’ll have to wait and see if any of them stick.