The European Commission fined Google €2.42 billion ($2.68 billion) for favoring Google Shopping in its search results.
The EC found that Google has “systematically given prominent placement to its own comparison shopping” service with default positioning at or near the top of search results, while demoting other comparison shopping services in results based on its generic search algorithms.
Google introduced this practice in all 13 European Economic Area (EEA) countries where it has rolled out its comparison shopping service, starting in January 2008 in Germany and the UK, according to the ruling.
Google’s search advantage hasn’t translated into a market dominating performance, though. Unique visitor figures from comScore show Google Shopping ranked sixth in the UK and fourth in Germany among retail sites as of February 2017.
Google Shopping ranked similarly in Italy, France, the Netherlands and Spain as of that month, according to comScore. It was the only comparison shopping site on any of those countries’ lists of top ecommerce players.
On the other hand, Google’s dominance of the search market in Europe is categorical. According to data from StatCounter, Google’s share of search referrals in 2016 was above 93% in four of the EU-5 countries. Only in the UK did it fall below that level, coming in at a 90.3% share.