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But this is far from the first time the European Commission has penalised U.S. tech giants for what it views to be bad behaviour.

What did the European Commission accuse Google of?

Google is by far the world's most popular search engine and is estimated to have more than a 90 percent market share; it has a great power to influence what we see and do online.

In a June 27 statement Margrethe Vestager, the European Union commissioner in charge of competition policy, said that while Google has developed many products and services that have changed modern life, the company's support for Google Shopping was anything but innovative.

The european Commission was finally sent in April 2015 a "statement of objections" to Google, the equivalent of an indictment in the jargon of brussels, that she had strengthened a little over a year after (in July 2016). For its part, Google has said it disagrees with the commission's finding and is considering appealing the case.

However, Google said it was considering launching an appeal against the commission once it had reviewed the decision.

"Google's illegal practices have had a significant impact on competition between Google's own comparison shopping service and rival services", the Commission said.

Google said its data showed people preferred links taking them directly to products they want and not to websites where they have to repeat their search. Besides, it was also being accused occluding rivals in Google Adsense.

"Google has come up with many innovative products and services that have made a difference to our lives", Vestager said. "And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation", European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

Google has consistently denied wrongdoing and Tuesday's ruling will deal a sharp blow to the group, especially because online shopping searches are one of the company's most important sources of sales growth as it takes on rivals as diverse as Facebook and Amazon.

Under the settlement, Google has 90 days to stop favoring its own shopping service or face a further penalty per day, equal to up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet.

That said, some American tech firms support the European Commission's approach.

Vestager rejected any suggestion of anti-American bias, telling reporters on Tuesday that an analysis of investigations her department has launched found that U.S. companies were not being disproportionately targeted.

Google's own comparison shopping service has been operating since 2008 and its placement gradually became more prominent when users searched for an item, says the EU. Walker also explained why Google promotes its own search results over competitors. Preliminary results in both investigations point to Google's abuse of a dominant position in violation of antitrust regulations, although final determinations have not been reached. This will affect other cases the Commission might build against the internet giant's various businesses, like Google Images.


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