28 June 2017
The news that Google has received a massive fine for abusing its position by promoting its products over others sends a strong message out to the other companies dominating the internet, Amazon in particular.
Google’s parent company, Alphabet, was hit with a £2.1 billion fine (2.4bn euros).
I think that the fine, whilst surprisingly high, is only fair. If you put someone in a trusted position where you are the signpost for the internet – especially considering that Google has 95% market share in Europe – it seems wrong that they should be posting people towards sites that they have created over those that competitors have spent years building up.
This message is a huge blow to Google and undoubtedly sends a message out to other powerful search engines. To see commenters on the ruling call it ‘anti-American’ and ‘anti-technology’ is a real shame. Would it not be fair to say that American companies which dominate the industry and don’t pay the going rate of tax is anti-business and anti-technology?
I have to ask, could Amazon be next? Rumour has been circulating for some time that they may have promoted their own products over others.
This is the challenge having such big companies dominating swathes of the internet. Of course, they have their own commercial interests but with such dominance of areas of the web there is undeniably a huge level of responsibility to be, to some extent, impartial.
Clearly the EU is taking this seriously – the investigation saw the Competition Commissioner and her team analysing more than 5.2 TERABYTES of search results to determine whether Google had abused its position, before handing out the record-breaking fine.
I hope that investigations like this will level the playing field for businesses to flourish in the online marketplace. That’s what we strive to do every day at UKFast, helping our clients to grow and thrive.
What do you think of the fine?