Google could face $3.4B fine in EU antitrust probe

The fine could be announced as early as June

margrethe vestager

European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, announcing formal antitrust charges against Google in Brussels in April 2015.

Credit: European Commission

Google could face a record fine of up to €3 billion (US $3.4 billion) as soon as early next month as part of a six-year European Commission antitrust investigation into the company's search engine dominance, according to a news report.

A fine in the European Commission's long-running investigation, launched in November 2010, is expected by summer, according to a report in The Telegraph, which cited anonymous sources. 

The $3.4 billion fine cited in the report would be less than the maximum allowed, which is 10 percent of Google's worldwide revenue, or about $7.5 billion.

A report from Politico questioned the timing of the potential fine laid out The Telegraph article, suggesting the commission wasn't close wrapping up its investigation.

The search engine investigation is one of two antitrust queries targeting Google at the European Commission. The commission is also investigating whether Google uses its Android operating system to hinder alternatives to its own smartphone mapping, search, and app store services.

A Google spokesman declined to comment on The Telegraph story.

A representative of competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the Google search investigation continues. "We have no comment on the press speculations," the representative said by email.

The commission, in April 2015, charged Google with abusing its dominant position in Internet search services in Europe by systematically favoring its own comparison shopping product, Google Shopping. 

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