Google is facing its biggest potential fines yet, with the UK and EU pursuing cases that could see the search giant on the hook for €25 billion.
Google is the dominant online ad platform, but critics have long accused the company of abusing its position in the market and shutting out smaller rivals. Despite the company being fined billions in the past, regulators recognize those fines have done little to alter Google’s practices.
“The fines we have seen so far from competition authorities have had absolutely no consequence whatsoever,” Johnny Ryan, from the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, told the BBC.
The company is now facing legal pressure on two fronts, with potentially staggering consequences.
“Google is under pressure on two big issues – one is anti-trust and the other is data protection,” Ryan said.
One of the cases in question is being pursued in the Netherlands, with the other being pursued in the UK. Together, the two cases could result in €25 billion in fines.
“Publishers, including local and national news media, who play a vital role in our society, have long been harmed by Google’s anti-competitive conduct,” said Damien Geradin, of the Belgian law firm Geradin Partners.
“It is time that Google owns up to its responsibilities and pays back the damages it has caused to this important industry.
“That is why today we are announcing these actions across two jurisdictions to obtain compensation for EU and UK publishers.”