EU sources say $1.17 billion antitrust fine against Google coming in weeks

For the past several months, there has been a steady drumbeat of reports that the EU was preparing to fine Google for alleged search market abuses. The drumbeat is getting louder, and reportedly the fine will be around one billion euros ($1.17 billion).

The EU has authority to fine the company up to 10 percent of its gross earnings — or something approaching $9 billion. Why it’s a billion and not some other amount is unclear; there doesn’t appear to be a formula. It appears, rather, the amount is a “big number” that will get attention and be sufficiently punitive.

This fine is being imposed for Google’s alleged abuses in shopping search. The original EU Statement of Objections (antitrust charges) claims, among other things, that:

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