Google faces record-breaking €3bn EU fine over search monopoly 'abuse' claims

Google may soon have to shell out €3bn to the European Commission for "abusing" its monopoly on the market by promoting its own shopping service at the expense of rivals.

The EU believes Google's search results have been manipulated to return shopping results that favour itself and harm competitors, and officials in Brussels are apparently set to wrap up a seven-year investigation into the company's search practices next month before issuing the levy.

The Telegraph reports that the €3bn figure would be the highest fine ever handed out by the Commission, surpassing the toughest anti-trust punishment to date – a €1.1bn fee issued to Intel in 2009.

Both parties have refrained from commenting on the report, but sources noted that Google's bill for quashing its rivals has yet to be finalised. The maximum fine is set at around €6.6bn, or 10 per cent of Google's total annual sales.

As an additional punishment, Google could be asked to bring its search policies in line with European law and would effectively be banned from promoting its own services over its opponents.

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Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is a reporter at The Drum. Based in London, she writes news, analysis and features around brand marketing and digital innovation. She has interviewed key figures from the likes of Airbnb, Amnesty International, Unilever, Facebook and Spotify, as well as covering international events like Ad Week Europe, Dmexco and Ciclope.

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