"Evidence shows that even the most highly ranked rival service appears on average only on page four of Google’s search results, and others appear even further down. Google’s own comparison shopping service is not subject to Google’s generic search algorithms, including such demotions."
Walmart is a store, and sells things. Best Buy is also a store, and sells many of the same things Walmart sells. They are competitors in the market for selling electronics. Competition between them is good, and so they aren't required to advertise each others' stores.
Google is a search engine. Bing and Yahoo Search are also search engines. They crawl and search the same websites. Competition between them is good, and so they aren't required to advertise each other's search engines.
Google Mail is not a search engine. Google News is not a search engine. YouTube is not a search engine. Google Play is not a search engine. These are all different products from Google Search. Thus, Google giving preferential treatment to these products in its market-dominant search engine would be a textbook example of an antitrust violation: using a dominant market position in one market to interfere in the another market. (It depends on the jurisdiction's specific antitrust laws, but it may not matter where the competitors' products show up in the search results if Google is giving preferential treatment to its own competing products in searches for those products or the search terms that would list those products.)
It's not hard to see these line of fines against Google for what they are: Money-grabbing attacks. With no knowledge on the matter, as an external observer, I wish this doesn't lead Google to de-prioritize its offerings in Europe.
I'm not sure what reasoning you're using, but it appears you aren't grasping the complexity of the argument.
For starters, Google search placement is a fundamental part of the search product, and is a wholly different product from Google Ads (which don't show up alongside search results). Search results and display ads aren't just different products--they're different markets (for example, print ads and tv ads are also advertising but are wholly separate forms of advertising from each other and from display ads and from search placement). So paying for placement in search results isn't an antitrust issue.
On the other hand, if buying search placement was contingent on also buying Google Ads, that would be a textbook example of antitrust abuse because Google's dominance in the search engine market is being used to leverage and interfere with the display ads market.
It's interesting to see how many people are shocked abuse of dominant market position remedies. I think enforcement has been so lax that many people casually assume anti-competitive behavior is the de-facto norm.
If you want to make a general argument about Search placement that is conditioned on plainly wrong assumptions (Google _never_ prioritizes organic search results based on buying Google Ads) then, sure, go right ahead.
Google is Walmart, offering all kinds of products. Carrying Kellog’s cereals (and many others).
Recently it started producing its own brand, Cerealify. Once it started producing its own brand, it’s the only brand you can now buy at Walmart. It’s also the only brand featured in marketing materials (catalogs, flyers, posters). Kelloggs, and other brands, can only be found in a warehouse 5 miles away.
How’s that for competition?
I understand the desire of playing Devil's Advocate here, but it's difficult to stomach. Google has been such a force for positive change globally that it's hard to see the EU as the good guys in this case.
Google is like yellow page, not Walmart.