Unfair Market Dominance
Google is facing a record fine of up to €1bn ($1.1 billion US) over a claim from Brussels that the internet giant had abused its market dominance and steered consumers towards its own shopping service.
This isn’t the first case of a large U.S. corporation being fined for unfair practices; Intel was fined back in 2009 for anticompetitive behavior, one that almost reached €1bn itself. We see a similar scenario occurring in Ireland, where Apple was forced to pay €13bn after it was caught using Ireland as an “illegal state aid”.
Paying The Price
Google is projected to pay for the abuse of market dominance at a maximum of 10% of the total revenue of the company involved, in this case, Google’s parent company Alphabet, which made an estimated $90bn in the last year. If we delve deeper into the calculations, up to 30% of Google’s shopping revenues multiplied by the number of years of abuse.
Additionally, a secondary investigation is currently taking place over yet another abuse of power on Google’s part. The regulator in charge claims that Google is unfairly banning competitors from websites that used services such as their search bar and advertisements.
What Does This Mean?
Google has made a step forward in many facets of the industry and continues to grow larger and larger. While this may set back the giant corporation, it’s safe to say their schedule will experience a complication, but this by no means results in anything drastic. If anything, it shows just how powerful Google has become, making it able to manipulate markets solely with its capabilities. As such, the value of SEO becomes increasingly clear to small and big businesses alike.