On Tuesday (06/27) the European Union hit Google with the largest fine ever levied in an antitrust case. The regulators levied a fine of $2.7 billion (2.4 billion euro) on the Mountain View giant for favoring its own services over those of rivals. We knew this was coming, as the EU has been doggedly pursuing Google for the past couple of years.
Don’t think that this is the end though. The EU antitrust regulators also defined Google as a monopoly in the ruling, which opens the door to the regulators continuing to monitor all of the search giant’s business practices in Europe. That, of course, means that this may be only the first round of fines levied against Google and Alphabet (Google’s parent company). Essentially, the European Union now has its hands planted firmly in the deep pockets, so don’t expect them to be withdrawn without a significant number of euros held in a tight fist.
This seems to have become part of an ongoing money and power grab against the Silicon Valley by EU regulators. In my May 12th (this year) article (EU vs American tech giants – just warming up) , I pointed out how they have gone after Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google. These companies all have the dubious distinction of being among the most successful corporations on the planet AND being American based. This strikes me as very much a sore point to European regulators and politicians that needs to be punished and paid for big time.
Of course, The EU holds all the cards so, if Google and the others want to continue their very profitable businesses on the continent, they will have to play ball and fork over. Fair or not, this is the price of doing business in today’s high-tech world.
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