THE EU has fined Google a blistering €2.4 billion for ‘breaking competition rules’.

Union officials said the search engine’s results drive consumers towards the company’s own comparison shopping service over other options.

It said this denies ‘European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation’.

The EU ordered the company to change the way its engine handles shopping requests within the next 90 days, or increasing fines will be levied.

Google has said that there’s nothing anti-consumer about its policies, and that it intends to appeal the ruling.

“When you shop online, you want to find the products you’re looking for quickly and easily,” the company said in a statement. “And advertisers want to promote those same products. That’s why Google shows shopping ads, connecting our users with thousands of advertisers, large and small, in ways that are useful for both.”

If the tech giant is forced to change the way it handles shopping searches it is likely to expose information about its search algorithms to the public, a nightmare scenario for some of the company’s most closely guarded tech secrets.

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