EU Ready to Fine Google Billions

What’s this about?

This is an extract from TWIS SEO Update 9th June 2017.

You can read actionable insights into the reasons for EU Ready to Fine Google Billions in this post. If you would like to discuss ways these insights and different antitrust regulation could impact your web business, please feel free to contact me.

#SEO #Google #GoogleShopping #AdBlocking


EU Ready to Fine Google Shopping Billions of Dollars

Summary:

  • Reuters reports that the EU is ready to fine Google up to $9 billion for “abuse of market position” in shopping search.
  • This is one of three active cases between the EU and Google currently being litigated.
  • The shopping search case revolves around Google’s display of shopping results in SERPs “irrespective of merits”.
  • If this goes ahead this could be a precursor for further action – especially if Chrome’s ad-blocking, discussed last week, impacts advertisers severely.

TWIS 09 June 2017 Google EU Antitrust Fine

Credit: Reuters

Actions to take:

  1. Keep a weather eye on developments in this case. A $9 billion fine would need to be paid for somehow.
  2. If your reliance on Google Shopping Search is heavy, it makes sense to build up viable alternative routes to sales.
  3. Be aware that this has taken a long while to get to this potential position, and levying of any fine might well take longer yet.
  4. Contact me if you would like to discuss this further.

Google Shopping Discussion:

Google is getting so big that it is bound to run into antitrust / anti-competitive behaviour issues at some point. The EU is a slow-moving beast, but it has shown a more willing attitude to getting involved in consumer competition issues – remember Microsoft and Windows issues over the default installation of Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer, those acts helped to push Microsoft away from consumer desktops.

The big risk for Google is that if the EU is successful in litigating this, then it will likely become emboldened to try more. Chrome’s ad-blocking is a potential avenue for that, although you’d be hard-pressed to argue any consumer disservice from stripping ads away.

Within search, most webmasters report Google as being 90-95% of traffic, although the comScore stats have repeatedly shown Google as being under 70% (which apparently is some magic number in the US antitrust system). Nobody has yet really challenged Google on this dominance, but with closer ties building between desktops and mobile, and deeper knots into various ecosystems, it’s not inconceivable that some sort of action will be launched.

More info:

Return to Top


The State of SEO Mid-2017 Released

The State of SEO Mid 2017

We recently released the super-exciting The State of SEO in mid-2017. Read it now.

Return to Top


TL;DR

  • Read The State of SEO in mid-2017.
  • The EU is almost, nearly, not quite, ready to fine Google up to $9 billion.
  • This could the first of a few antitrust issues for Google in the EU.

Thanks for reading. If you would like to discuss what these changes mean for your web property, or would like to know how to implement them, please feel free to contact me.

Return to Top