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Google parent Alphabet’s profit hit by EU fine

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MUMBAI: Google’s parent Alphabet has reported a quarterly profit of USD 3.5 billion, with a massive fine by the European Commission biting into earnings.

The technology giant on Monday reported that revenue grew to $ 26 billion in the recently ended quarter, and that profit would have tallied nearly $ 6.3 billion if it weren't for a $ 2.74 billion anti-trust fine levied on search engine Google by the European Commission, according to an AFP report San Francisco.

Revenue was up 21 percent from the same quarter last year, according to earnings figures. "We're delivering strong growth with great underlying momentum, while continuing to make focused investments in new revenue streams," the AFP report quoted Alphabet chief financial officer Ruth Porat as saying.

Alphabet shares slid about 2.9 percent to 969.03 in after-market trades that followed release of the earnings figures.

Investors have been concerned about what the regulatory trouble in Europe means for Alphabet, which gets most of its money from Google advertising while investing in "other bets" such as self-driving cars. Alphabet took in $ 248 million in revenue and posted a narrower loss of $772 million in its "other bets" category in the recently ended quarter.

Meanwhile, Google and the EU are gearing up for a battle that could last years, with the Silicon Valley behemoth facing a relentless challenge to its ambition to expand beyond search results.

Brussels has already spent seven years targeting Google, fueled by a deep apprehension of the company's dominance of Internet search across Europe, where it commands about 90 percent of the market.

In a verdict that could redraw the online map worldwide, the EU's top antitrust sheriff Margrethe Vestager in June imposed a record fine on Google for illegally favoring its shopping service in search results, according to the AFP report.

The EU accuses Google of giving its multitude of services too much priority in search results to the detriment of other price comparison services. The decision -- if it survives an expected appeal process - could prove to be momentous for Google, as well as for competition law in general.

The EU is also examining Google's AdSense advertising service and its Android mobile phone software.

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