New tech, old values: European Commission's fine on Google

The EC’s massive fine on Google points to the changing role of regulators
The long arm of the European Commission has once again struck the technology world with the imposition of a €2.42 billion ($2.7 billion) fine on Google for the company’s abuse of its market position. The Commission found that Google abused its dominance in the Internet search market to give itself an unfair advantage in another market — comparison shopping services. Google’s comparison shopping service disadvantaged competitors by placing them lower in its search results, systematically giving Google’s own services higher placement and greater visibility, leading to more clicks. Google, which is required to pay the fine within 90 days, may appeal the decision. While the fine itself is unlikely to pose financial problems for Google, whose parent company, Alphabet, posted a profit of over $55 billion in 2016, the impact on how Google does business is likely to be significant; the Commission has said, and rightly, that it would leave it to Google to remedy the situation. The European Union’s Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, also said the ruling could guide future decisions on complaints around Google favoring its own products and services via its search engine. The verdict is the latest in a long list of actions the EU has taken against tech companies from across the Atlantic. From a fine earlier on Microsoft for bundling its browser and operating system together, to a record €13 billion tax bill slapped on Apple last year for back taxes owed to Ireland, Brussels has signaled in no uncertain terms that it is determined to take on large tech companies, some of which have become gargantuan transnational entities, in the interest of its citizens.

The old idea that market power cannot be used to stymie competition, a result of which is a lowering of consumer choice and welfare, is good even when the market is new and changing rapidly, as happens at the technological frontier. Attempts to cast Google’s run-in with the Commission as a game of trans-Atlantic dominance have quietened down, partly reflecting the wariness with which the current White House views tech giants, many of whom spoke vociferously against Donald Trump’s ‘travel ban’. In contrast to criticism from the U.S. government when the Google complaint was first lodged and for the Apple tax bill of 2016, the White House refrained from getting involved after the EU fined Google. The fault lines between tech giants, which often act as supra-national entities, and national and multinational governmental bodies, are changing fast as the relationship between citizens, their governments, media and technology is transformed. In the years to come we can expect new lines to be drawn as technological frontiers are crossed. While technology is constantly changing, valuing choice, competition and consumer welfare never gets outdated or obsolete. Source : THE HINDU


1) Gargantuan  (विशाल) (Adjective):  gar-gan-choo-un
Meaning - 
extremely large 
- Huge, enormous ,gigantic
Antonyms - Tiny , insignificant
Example -
 Although the woman started her business inside of a garage, her company is now a gargantuan firm in the international community.
2) Wariness  (सावधानी) (Noun):  wari-ne-ss
Meaning - 
a feeling that you have to be careful because there may be a danger or problem
- vigilance , caution , alertness
Antonyms - carelessness , negligence
Example -
Given how destructive cocaine and other narcotics are wariness of legalization is understandable.
3) Vociferously ( कोलाहलपूर्ण , चीखते हुए ) (Adverb): vo-cif-er-ous-ly
Meaning - 
loudly & forcefully. 
Synonyms - 
Blatantly , noisily , stridently
Antonyms - Gently , peacefully ,calmly
Example - 
The demonstrators were vociferously opposed  the idea of increasing the petrol price.
4) Stymie (गतिरोध) (Verb):  stahy-mee
Meaning -
 to prevent somebody from doing something that they have planned or want to do 
- Obstruct , hinder ,thwart
Antonyms - Assist , encourage , help
Example -
Their plans to open a new shop have been stymied by lack of funds.
5) Run-in  ( असहमति ) (Noun): run-in
Meaning - 
to disagree with something in an argumentative way 
Synonyms - 
disagreement, argument/dispute, fight.
Antonyms -
Concede , agree , harmonize
Example -  
Raman’s run-in with his wife have sorted out after the mediation of his mother.
6) Imposition (आरोपण) (Noun): im-po-zish-un
Meaning -
 enforcement of any tax or law or act
Synonyms -
  charging, levying/payment.
Antonyms - Honesty , benefit , abdicate
Example - 
Everyone knew it would be an imposition to require all students to have class on Saturday in such short notice.
7) Refrain(दूर रहना) (Verb) : ri-freyn
Meaning - 
  to stop yourself from doing something, especially something that you want to do.
Synonyms -Avoid , give up , discontinue
Antonyms - Persist ,resume , carry out
Example - 
You will lose weight if you can refrain from eating junk food.
8) Obsolete (अप्रचलित) (Adjective): ob-so-lete
Meaning -
 Something which is no longer in use because something new has been invented
Synonyms -
 Outdated , Extinct
Antonyms - Modern , current , up-to-date
Example -  
1159 obsolete laws scrapped by Modi Government in less than two years time.
9) Frontier  (सीमान्त  , सरहद ) (Noun)- frant-ee-ar
Meaning - a line that separates two countries , limit
Synonyms - 
Boundary , Margin , Edge
Inside , Inward
Example - 
Lille is close to the frontier between France and Belgium.
10) Relegate (Verb) (पीछे करना) - Ra-le-gateMeaning - to give somebody or something a lower or less important position, rank, etc. than before
Synonyms -  Demote, downgrade , dismiss
Antonyms - Promote ,upgrade ,elevate
Example (English) - Creative subjects such as art, geography and music were relegated in favor of English, maths and science.
Example (Hindi) - कला, भूगोल और संगीत जैसे सृजनात्मक विषयों को अंग्रेजी, गणित और विज्ञान जैसे विषयों को बढ़ावा देने के लिए पीछे कर दिया गया है।
Now considering the article above as a Reading Comprehension question, try to answer the following questions-
  • Why European commission levied fine on Google ?
  • According to the author , what can never get obsolete inspite of rapidly changing technology?
To check your vocabulary , we have given below some words. Try to make sentences with these words in the comment section which will be reviewed by us.
  • Verdict
  • Massive
  • Dominance
  • Ruling
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