Google has been fined 2.42 billion euros ($2.7 bn) by EU for allegedly abusing its power by promoting its own shopping comparison service at the top of search results.
The amount is the regulator’s largest penalty to date against a company accused of distorting the market.
The European Commission found that the U.S. tech giant denied “consumers a genuine choice” by using its search engine to unfairly steer them to its own shopping platform.
Regulators said that Google must change its behavior within 90 days or face additional penalties.
The European Commission found that, since 2008, Google had been altering its search engine results to give priority to its European comparison shopping service – initially ‘Froogle’ and later ‘Google Shopping’ – ahead of other rival shopping businesses.
By ranking Google Shopping service ahead of other competitors, Google was able to significantly increase the amount of traffic to the previously ailing service, thereby generating more clicks and revenue.
Meanwhile, other companies were bumped down the list and saw traffic levels drop.
The commission said it was leaving it to Google to determine what alterations should be made to its Shopping service rather than specifying a remedy.
Google had previously suggested that Amazon and eBay have more influence over the public’s spending habits and has again said it does not accept the claims made against it.