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AP

European antitrust officials slapped Google with a massive $2.7 billion fine on Tuesday for abusing its search practices, more than double what was expected.

This has been a long time coming: smaller firms like Yelp and have spent several years lobbying the EU to act as U.S. regulators have been reluctant to take on Google.

In a statement, competition regulators say Google has abused its market dominance as a search engine to steer customers to its own Google Shopping platform. The company has 90 days to pay up or will face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet (Google's parent company). Google says they think the EU undervalues Google's shopping and search experience for consumers, arguing that its success doesn't mean it favors itself — "it's the result of hard work and constant innovation."

Why it matters: In Europe, the tech titans are facing rising scrutiny: European regulators — whose countries have lost the game of tech, pipes and content — are getting aggressive in trying to constrain the behemoths. The latest penalty represents rising tensions between E.U. regulators and U.S. tech giants. The fine, while much larger than expected, won't make that much of a dent in Google's bank account. The bigger concern for Google is that the EU regulators' aggressive move will nudge U.S. counterparts to take a closer look at industry dynamics and whether the dominant tech firms use their growing troves of data and increasingly sophisticated algorithms to skew competition more broadly. A strong rebuke from Brussels will be noticed by influential Trump administration officials who are already interested in reigning in the power of tech giants like Google.

What's next: Google said it's reviewing the decision and considering an appeal.

Go deeper

The Exvangelicals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Even as evangelicals maintain their position as the most popular religion in the U.S., a movement of self-described "exvangelicals" is breaking away, using social media to engage tens of thousands of former faithful.

The big picture: Donald Trump's presidency, as well as movements around LGBTQ rights, #MeToo and Black Lives Matter, drew more Americans into evangelical churches while also pushing some existing members away.

Updated 5 hours ago - Science

Huge wildfire reaches edge of Sequoia National Park

A plume of smoke and flames rise into the air as the fire burns towards Moro Rock during the KNP Complex fire in the Sequoia National Park near Three Rivers, California, on Saturday. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Firefighters in Sequoia National Park were working into the night after two wildfires merged to reach the Giant Forest Saturday.

Why it matters: This forest contains over 2,000 giant sequoias, including the General Sherman Tree — the world's largest tree by volume. Park officials wrapped the redwoods in foil last week as the Paradise and Colony Fires, now known as the KNP Complex Fire, neared. Protection efforts appeared to be working overnight.

5 hours ago - World

Hong Kong holds first "patriots only" elections

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam during a news conference last Monday. Photo: Lui Siu Wai/Xinhua via Getty Images

Hong Kong's elections to choose the city's Election Committee members opened to a select group of voters on Sunday, under a new "patriots only" system imposed by China's government.

Why it matters: All candidates running to be members of the electoral college have been "vetted" by Beijing, per Reuters. They will go on to choose the Asian financial hub's next leader, approved by China's government, and some of its legislature.