Could Google Be Fined $5 Billion in the Coming Weeks?
The European Union Competition Commission has been busy. In between investigating a “cartel” of automotive parts suppliers and recent telecom deals, The Wall Street Journal reports the EU Commission is nearing a decision on Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) with respect to its antitrust investigation. Should the Commission find Google deserves the maximum fine, the amount in question could top $5 billion.
According to the Journal, the update on Google’s case came in the text of a prepared speech by Joaquin Almunia, commissioner of the EU’s antitrust agency. Whether Google’s cooperation is considered adequate is what’s being decided, as the last round of proposed fixes by the search engine giant were not up to the commission’s standards. If Almunia decides Google is not sufficiently addressing the situation, Google could be hit with a fine equal to 10 percent of its global revenue.
Google topped $50 billion in revenue in last year’s tally, giving the fine a value of as much as $5 billion. The charges against Google stem from the fact it may copy material from other search engines, thereby limiting the chances a user would need to consult other sources online. Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bing, one of its main competitors, is pulling in a small fraction of Google’s 80 percent share of the European market.