Google faces €1bn antitrust fine

According to reports, Google faces a record-breaking €1bn (£875m) fine from Brussels over the alleged abuse of its market dominance.

The record-breaking sanction follows a seven-year investigation by officials in Brussels which looks into whether or not the search giant has ‘abused its dominant position by systematically favouring its comparison shopping service in its search results pages’.

EU officials are expected to announce their judgement in the coming weeks.

According to The Financial Times, the commission is looking at topping the penalty of €1bn handed out to chipmaker Intel in 2009, over its anticompetitive behaviour.

Big European technology rivals and senior politicians in Paris and Berlin have long encouraged Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s competition commissioner, to take a hard line in the case.

A decision against the Silicon Valley company however, threatens to reignite transatlantic tensions that erupted last summer following Ms Vestager’s issuing of a record €13bn tax bill for Apple.

A financial sanction for abuse of a monopoly position is capped at a maximum of 10% of the total revenues of the company involved, which in the case of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, was $90bn last year. It is calculated as up to 30% of Google’s shopping revenues multiplied by the number of years of the anti-competitive behaviour, according to The Guardian.

The company will also have a set time to propose how it intends to operate in future in building its shopping business. If it fails to agree a deal with the commission in that period, the company could be fined up to 5% of average daily turnover for each day of delay.