Google Still Going Strong Even After 3rd Antitrust Fine
As we can remember, Google uses its strong influence in the market in order to get ahead of their competition in the advert market, something that enters the territory of antitrust behavior. Add to that the Google search protocol prevents rival adverts, that is something that the European Union cannot overlook, as they slapped the search giant with a hefty $1.69 billion fine. As per European Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, Google should not prevent its business rivals to fairly compete against them in the advert space.
“Google has cemented its dominance in online search adverts and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party websites. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules. The misconduct lasted over 10 years and denied other companies the possibility to compete on the merits and to innovate — and consumers the benefits of competition. Anyone who has suffered damage because of Google’s behavior can also claim compensation from Google through national courts,” explained Vestager.
This is in the wake of Google’s continued domination in the European online ad business at 70% market share. The news about Google’s antitrust penalty was never felt by the shareholders. In fact, for March 21, GOOGL registered a 2% stock price increase, which may mean that investors are not worried about antitrust cases that Google is facing with EU.
Coincidentally, Google is in the same day announced their entry to the highly competitive gaming market with the announcement of Stadia. The company hopes that Stadia will provide a new revenue stream for the rich Google portfolio while adding more value to the gaming consumers.
Google became EU’s “favorite”, in 2017 the search giant was penalized with $2.7 billion fine, in July 2018, Google paid $5.5 billion fine to the EU as well. The search giant is a very profitable organization, with all of these penalties; the company remains in a strong fiscal position.
“We’ve always agreed that healthy, thriving markets are in everyone’s interest. We’ve already made a wide range of changes to our products to address the Commission’s concerns. Over the next few months, we’ll be making further updates to give more visibility to rivals in Europe,” emphasized Kent Walker, Google’s Senior VP for Global Affairs.
There is something more in Google than just their current business portfolio. For two decades, it drove innovation more than any typical company in the United States. It brought technology that was not even a category in 1999 when Google started its search business portfolio.
“Platforms like Google play a vital role in digital markets. Businesses and consumers depend on platforms to get the best out of digitization. So the illegal behavior in these cases is very serious. We’re thinking very carefully about the future of competition because everything becomes digitized. Last year, I appointed three special advisers to look at the challenges that competition policy faces, as digital technology changes every industry we know. And I’m looking forward to receiving their report very soon. In our reflections for the future as well as our enforcement work our aim will, of course, remain the same: To make sure that markets work well, so European consumers have a choice, innovative products, and fair prices,” concluded Vestager
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