June 27 (UPI) -- The European Commission fined Google Inc. a record $2.7 billion on Tuesday for breaching antitrust rules in favoring its own search services over its competitors.
Google has 90 days to end the conduct or face penalties of up to 5 percent of the average daily revenue of its parent company, Alphabet Inc. The EC ruled that Google violated Europe's competition rules by showing preference to its own online shopping service over those of rivals.
"Google's strategy for its comparison shopping service wasn't just about attracting customers by making its product better than those of its rivals. Instead, Google abused its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results, and demoting those of competitors. What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules. It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate," EU competition policy chief Margrethe Vestager said in a statement Tuesday.
Google denied wrongdoing, saying eBay Inc. and Amazon Inc. offer significant competition in Europe. With the ruling and fine, Vestager can now be regarded as the world's most aggressive regulator of digital services, The New York Times said Tuesday. She previously demanded that Apple Inc. pay $4.5 billion in back taxes to Ireland, and has opened an investigation of the European tax practices of Amazon Inc.
Prior to the fine against Google, the record fine assessed by the EC was $1.19 billion, against Intel Corp. in 2009.