Google responds to EU antitrust regulators, says a fine would be “inappropriate”
Google has been under fire from EU antitrust regulators for the past few months. The company has been accused that it distorted search results favoring its shopping service.
The European Commission’s charge sheet said that if Google was found guilty it “would set the fine at a level sufficient to ensure deterrence”. This could be up as much as $6.6 billion based on the tech giant’s 2014 turnover.
However, Google said that the fine would be inappropriate because of their good faith in participating in previous negotiations last year, not to mention the very unusual nature of the case.
According to Reuters, Google said the following in a redacted version of its reply sent to complainants:
“Imposing a fine in the present case would be inappropriate. The novelty of the statement of objections’ theory, the selection of the case for commitment negotiation and Google’s good faith participating in these negotiations militate against the imposition of a fine,” the document said.
Google added that it should not be punished for abusing its dominance given the fact that the search service it offers is entirely free.
“The statement of objections fails to take proper account of the fact that search is provided for free. A finding of abuse of dominance requires a ‘trading relationship’ as confirmed by consistent case law. No trading relationship exists between Google and its users.”
The EU commission is expected to make a decision on the case by the end of the month.