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Basically, at this point I'm sure there is a standing ~€2.5 bn section in Google's annual budget simply labeled "misc. EU fines". If they manage to keep it under €2bn in any given year they probably consider that a win and pay out bonuses to their legal team.

The fine is only part of the EUC action, the fined entity has also the obligation to change their behavior as suggested by EUC to stop asap their abusive actions.

How do you reconcile this with the knowledge they’ve been fine $x billion every year for the past 3 years (at least?)?

At what point does Big Corp run out of things to abuse?

If the fines just become a cost of doing business the finance and legal teams can probably get creative and invent new ways of mashing up old abuses over time.

I think the underlying theme here, then, is that the fines are necessary but not sufficient.

There's nothing really stopping the EU from making the fines larger if they don't correct their behavior. The point of a fine like this isn't to completely cripple a company, but to make it understand that there are very real consequences.

It's very simplistic to look at their yearly revenue and say they can just absorb it. If the money they made off of an activity like this was less than the fine, absorbing it won't make sense.

Even if they absorb it, accounting for R&D and other expenses on a product, the profit margin could be sufficiently ruined for the entire product to no longer be viable or a competitor could take over the market easily.

All the fines have been about the same time period (2010-2016), but on different products (Shopping, Android and now Adsense). It's not Google changing stuff and getting fined again.

That's why there's this provision in the official EU press release:

Finally, Google is also liable to face civil actions for damages that can be brought before the courts of the Member States by any person or business affected by its anti-competitive behaviour. The new EU Antitrust Damages Directive makes it easier for victims of anti-competitive practices to obtain damages.

This is why at some point executives need to face potential prison time. The EU should put the requirements to stop the abuse and if next year the change hasn’t taken place, investigate individuals responsible.

That's right. They say corporations are people too, however corporations aren't sent to jail. They aren't barred from voting. They have more rights than human people.

Imagine if Google went to jail and had to work for 13 cents an hour making license plates.

Similarly, there's probably a ~€2.5 bn line item in the EU budget that reads "misc. Google fines". ;)

The legal team must be proud of their achievement

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