Google faces $3.4 billion fine

May 17, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
The European Commission is planning to announce it is hitting Google with a record-breaking €3 billion (about $3.4 billion) or thereabouts, according to the UK's Telegraph newspaper.

The Telegraph said officials plan to make the announcement prior to the summer holiday season and referenced unnamed sources. The report said the final figure for the fine has not yet been determined.

The previous record fine was a €1.1 billion (about $1.25 billion) fine imposed by the European Commission in 2009 after it found leading semiconductor vendor Intel guilty of anti-trust offences over a period dating back to 2002. The European Commission puts a top limit on fines for such offences at 10 percent of annual sales, which in Google's case would be €6.6 billion (about $7.5 billion).

Google has been under investigation for seven years for alleged monopoly abuse wherein it has been accused of using its dominance in the online search function to favor results in which it had a vested interest and to disfavor rivals, particularly with regard to comparison shopping. Since about 2015 it has also been under investigation for alleged abuse of its relationship with Android and that operating systems dominant position in smartphones and it has also come under criticism for its privacy policy.

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