Record EU Fine Against Google Risks Creating New “Too Big To Innovate” Standard, Says ITIF

June 27, 2017

WASHINGTON—The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a leading science and tech policy think tank, today released the following statement from ITIF President Robert D. Atkinson regarding the European Commission’s record fine against Google on competition grounds:

Today’s ruling is bad for consumers and bad for innovation. The Commission has effectively decided that some companies have become too big to innovate. The Commission’s actions have created a cloud of uncertainty that will make large tech companies overly cautious about making changes to the user experience and service offerings that would benefit consumers. 

The decision in this case shows the fundamental problem with the EU’s approach to antitrust issues: It is willing to take heavy-handed actions to protect competitors, at the expense of consumers. This is evident in the Commission’s decision to levy a record €2.4 billion fine against Google in a case where consumers were helped, not hurt, by the development of a product-comparison tool that allowed users to shop online more effectively. The only real beneficiary of today’s ruling is the EU’s treasury.