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Google's fine a reminder

China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-30 10:26

The European Commission fined Google a record 2.42 billion euros ($2.7 billion) on Tuesday for breaching the European Union's antitrust rules on the grounds that the world's largest internet search engine has abused its market dominance by favoring its own shopping service in its search results.

The European Commission said the US company must end that practice within 90 days or face penalty payments of up to 5 percent of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google's parent company.

Google has also been accused of blocking rivals in online search advertising, with the commission warning of deterrent fines if the company is found guilty of breaching EU rules.

The EU's action came after a seven-year investigation into Google's violations of EU antitrust regulations following scores of complaints from its rivals.

The fine imposed on Google is the biggest amount extended by EU regulators to a single foreign company in an antitrust case, exceeding the fine of 1.06 billion euros handed down to US chipmaker Intel in 2009, and can be seen as a normal move based on market rules.

However, similar actions once taken by China's regulators to punish some Western companies for their violations of Chinese market rules sparked extensive outcries from the Western media.

Since both US and EU regulators show no lenience to those companies that violate market rules, why do the same moves taken by China's regulator so often invite controversy?

In an era of globalization, transnational companies have to grab a larger market share worldwide to maintain or boost their competitiveness.

However, the fining of Google should remind Chinese enterprises intent on going global that they should abide by local laws and regulations to avoid possible economic losses resulting from any malpractices and wrongdoings.

It should also be a reminder to Chinese regulators that they should have the courage to take a similar action against foreign companies violating Chinese market rules.

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