Google fined for $15 million in Türkiye

15:44 - 10.06.2024

June 10, Fineko/ Türkiye’s antimonopoly regulator, the Competition Council, has imposed a fine on Google as part of proceedings on violation of competition rules regarding the provision of search results in the field of hotel reservations on the local market.

ABC.AZ reports that the fine amounted to 482 million liras (about $15 million).

The investigation into this issue began in April 2021. Then the Council decided that the American company, specifically its service GOOGLE Hotel Ads-GHA, has an advantage over local market participants in terms of providing data on the location of hotels, prices and their comparison on the general search page. Thus, local hotel search services are being hindered from having a full-fledged presence in the hotel advertising market. Their interaction with potential customers is complicated by Google's dominant role.

In March 2024, the regulator imposed precautionary measures against Google, giving three months to settle the claims. In this regard, a daily fine was imposed in the amount of "five ten thousandths of gross income for 2023" until the violations were completely eliminated. The company stated that since April 15, all violations indicated by the council have been eliminated and local hotel search services are operating freely. However, the Council examined the situation and came to the conclusion that the requirements were not met.

The settlement process continued until May 21, but by that date the company had not implemented the search protocols, algorithms and policies required by Türkiye. In this regard, the regulator canceled the daily fine, replacing it with a one-time fine in the amount of $15 million for non-compliance with the preventive measures it had previously introduced.