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August 30, 2017

Google outlines plans for EU compliance following £2bn fine

The EU has been forceful in its protection of fair competition, investigating the likes of Google and Apple.

By Tom Ball

The Alphabet company and global search giant, Google, has made a move to share plans for achieving compliance with European Union regulators.

Action from Google was prompted when it incurred a colossal £2.23 billion fine from the EU, for promoting its own shopping offering ahead of the competition with its global dominance in June this year.

A deadline by which to halt the offending process was also put in place against Google, the 28th of September, and a solution is expected to be provided to achieve compliance. Google said that it would be able to meet the cut-off point.

In the event that Google does not meet the expectations laid down by the European Commission, the company could be slammed by further fines calculated by the 2016 daily global turnover of parent company Alphabet.

Google outlines plans for EU compliance following £2bn fine

Alphabet took a hit in its second quarter financial results because of the enforcement of the EU fine, despite achieving strong results; the Google parent could have achieved 28 per cent year-on-year revenue. This also prompted a three per cent slip in the Alphabet share price.

Apple has also come under scrutiny from the EU this year, having been investigated for unfair practices alongside Google. The EU initiative seeks to level the playing field for other competitors who face the US goliaths.

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Prior to this accusation being made, Apple drew attention when Spotify accused the company of unfair practice when it favoured Apple Music by denying a Spotify update on the app store.

The European Commission also fined Facebook £94 million under the accusation of misleading the EU in the instance of the company’s 2014 merger with Whatsapp. However, the situation did not alter the European Commussion’s decision to permit the merger going ahead, a move that involved $19 billion.

EU authorities focussed on competition have the power to issue fines amounting to 1% of a company’s annual turnover, meaning that the fine faced by Facebook could have been considerably more damaging.

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