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    Google May Face Its First EU Fine For Squeezing Out Rivals

    By

    April 30, 2016

    With little or no prospect of Google settling a case with the European Union over its shopping service, the tech giant Google might face its first ever European Union fine in 2016.

    To date, Google has a mixed record in taking on regulators globally. While there have been many wins, some battles are lost too.

    There are only a few incentives remaining for both the parties to end this six-year-long dispute or coming up with a deal that could set an example for the test regulators ability to maintain diversity on Web and Google searches of hotels, flights, and various other services.

    A security guard keeps watch as he walks past a logo of Google at an exhibition stage during the 4th China (Shanghai) International Technology Fair 2016 in Shanghai, China, April 21, 2016. REUTERS/Aly Song

    Giving up? Not an option For Google.

    It seems like Alphabet Inc’s Google has never learned to back down. For using its dominant android mobile OS to remove rivals, Google was hit with a second EU antitrust charge in this month of April.

    With three failed attempts at coming up with a compromise since 2010, Google is all set for a war on the allegations that state that Google’s Web search results are favoured its own shopping services. Unless the EU watchdog rests its stance, there is no scope of settlements from Google’s side.

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    Lesson From Microsoft?

    Microsoft sets a perfect example for the companies who want to take on the Commission, said Ioannis Kokkoris, a law professor at the Queen Mary University of London.

    There was a time when Microsoft ended up with fines of more than 2.2 billion euros after a decade-long battle with EU.

     

    Last week’s low-key pact between rivals Google and Microsoft to withdraw all regulatory complaints against each other can be taken as a signal that Google might in time choose to strike a deal with Brussels.

    And hence by doing so, would avoid any chances of repeating Microsoft’s mistake and by settling at least its dispute with the EU over Internet shopping might also head off possible actions by other regulators.

    So let’s see if Google turns out to be smarter than Microsoft or will be it EU on the losing side this time.

    Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.

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