Google Will Not Be Going Quietly
By Team Legistify / 2017-07-02

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The EU has thrown down its gauntlet before Google, saying the search giant has abused its market dominance by giving unfair advantage to its own services.

It's a verdict with implications far beyond this specific probe of the online shopping market. It's in Google parent Alphabet Inc.'s interest to fight.

Brussels has slapped Google with a record 2.4 billion-euro ($2.7-billion) fine after an investigation into the way the search engine handles shopping search requests. The EU says Google skewed results to demote other price-comparison services and has ordered the company to fix its "illegal conduct" within 90 days. Failure to comply risks a fine of up to 5 percent of daily revenue. It's safe to assume that making rivals pay for better placement -- a workaround Google has tried before -- won't wash.

Financial markets don't seem too troubled, though, with Alphabet shares down about 1 percent. That suggests expectations of either a quick fix or a long haul through the appeals process, according to Neil Campling at Northern Trust Securities.

It makes sense for Google to push back, given that this looks like an opening European salvo against its increasingly dominant advertising business. Plus you'd expect President Donald Trump to kick up a storm about any threat to nab 5 percent of Alphabet's worldwide revenue.

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