Any company with an internet presence depends to a greater or lesser extent on search engine results and for the EU, this means Google Search. It dominates Europe. This means, of course, that email marketing companies will suffer if its systems aren’t fair.
Google has a monopoly position under the legal definition. There are other search engines, one of which I use regularly, but they take too small a percentage of the sector to negate the charge. What question bothered the EU was whether Google, a unit of Alphabet, an international giant, had abused their monopoly.
The decision was that Google, in sometime placing their own products at the top of the first page, were not complying with the law.
The US regulators investigated Google for abusing their monopoly and decided to take no action, this despite the co-founders refusing to testify to Congress. So the EU took up the case.
There is little doubt that the US Senate lobbyists will suggest this is ‘another’ example of the EU being anti American but the evidence would appear to be clear enough. You can try it yourself.
Search online, using Google, for hotels in specific holiday destinations. The odds are that you will see Google+, you may have heard of it, results take top billing, and therefore obtain most clicks. Yet Trip Advisor has many more reviews of each hotel. You might feel, as does the EU, that this is self-promotion.
The fine of over €2.4 billion (£2.1bn) appears draconian at first glance but given the maximum fine, based on annual turnover, was €9bn it might seem less so especially as the EU state that Google has ‘systematically’ rated its own products over those of its rivals.
There has been the suggestion of some kind of retaliation, but what this might be is unknown. However, some feel this is unlikely given President Trumps ambivalence towards them.
In general though, it is probable that little will change for email marketing. Google will appeal, probably enter into discussion with the EU and a compromise solution will be agreed. Up until then, keep challenging your search engine optimisation.