Facebook quickly becoming as dangerous to local business as Amazon

Facebook is entering the home services market Facebook goes after local business. Starting today, U.S. Facebook users browsing the Facebook Marketplace will be able to search thousands of home service professionals through a new feature that helps users locate top-rated and vetted professionals like house cleaners, plumbers, contractors, and others, as well as receive quotes.

THE NET-NET. FACEBOOK GAINS DIRECT CONTROL OVER LOCAL SERVICE PROFESSIONALS. JUST LIKE AMAZON, WHO FACEBOOK USERS FIND WILL BE DIRECTLY LINKED TO HOW MUCH $$$$ EACH LOCAL SERVICE PROFESSIONAL SPENDS WITH FACEBOOK. Facebook after local businesses

When users click on one of the prompts, they’re walked through a form to fill out other relevant data in order to find matching home pros. The service pro who follows up will respond on Messenger.

THE NET-NET. FACEBOOK DIRECTLY CONTROLS THE CUSTOMER/SERVICE PROFESSIONAL INTERACTION. FOLLOW THE MONEY.

Amazon expanded into this category several years ago with Walmart quickly following.

THE NET-NET. LOCAL COMMUNITIES DON’T PROSPER. MAIN STREET BECOMES A GHOST TOWN. ALL THAT WILL REMAIN ARE THE TECH GIANTS AND THE GIANT RETAIL CHAINS.

Amazon is starving local businesses to death

 

Local businesses are suffering from customer starvation.  Amazon, on the other hand is financially fit and is on a customer rich diet.  They have over 105 million active members in their Prime loyalty program, Amazon has direct communication with 197 million US shoppers EVERY MONTH, and 66% of shoppers communicate with Amazon every month.

Amazon knows how to starve local business

Think of Jeff Bezos is very smart.  He isn’t a bad guy or some evil genius.  He is a shopper-centric CEO who knows what shoppers want and how when local businesses don’t give them what they want they starve to death.   Take a look at the following graph which shows the rapidly increasing CLOSING of local business.

 

 

Retil Closings

Local retailers and even the retail giants like CVS, Rite Aid and Walmart are waking up to the fact that Amazon is starving them to death.  Local businesses live on the financial margins they make when they sell a product or service.  Jeff Bezos says, “Your margin is my opportunity.”

Stupid is as stupid does. (Forrest Gump)

Local media seems stupid about what Amazon is doing to local businesses.  Keep in mind local media lives by local advertisng revenues.  As local businesses are starved to death by Amazon – local media dies along with them.  Local media is strangely SILENT about what Amazon is doing to its customers.

The Amazon Starvation Strategy.  Amazon uses the revenues from its different revenue streams to wage war in retail.  For Amazon it all makes sense.  When it wins in retail then manufacturers are forced to advertise and use Amazon web services.  It is an ever-expanding monopolistic web.  Amazon Ad Revenues

Tough for a retail chain or a local business to compete against a giant that DOES NOT NEED to make profit from its retail business.

How Local Businesses become fit and healthy

  1. Copy Amazon. Every local business #1 focus needs to copy Amazon and build its customer list.  How Amazon builds its customer list. The ONLY reason customers will sign up for direct communication with a local business is because they are going to get something GREAT.  Amazon gives free shipping to people who sign up to their Prime program.  Free Shipping is GREAT.
  2.  Fight Amazon Every Day. A local business fights Amazon by creating one Amazon Beating Deal every day.  It then communicates that deal to the people on its customer list.
  3. Communicate excitement. Everybody wants information if, and ONLY IF, it is about a GREAT DEAL, exciting or highly informative.

2018 – Big Brothers Are Watching

Facts:
• In 2017 Facebook and Google account for 84% of new digital advertising and 96% of its growth.Threats to free thoughts
• Amazon captured 50% of black Friday sales and 44% of all online sales in 2017. They reached 38% in 2016.
• Google controls 90% of all online searches
• All local businesses are under life threatening pressure from Amazon, online giants and mega retailers

Max Hasting’s recent article writes, “1984. Almost 70 years ago, George Orwell imagined a future in which ‘Big Brother’ scrutinizes an enslaved society with an all-seeing eye.” Big Brother saw and controlled everything. Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft have taken 1984’s nightmares into 2018’s second to second surveillance. We now carry our surveillance systems with us 24/7/265.

Follow the Money. Facebook’s #1 driver is money. Facebook is valued at around $175 billion, making it the fourth most valuable company on the planet. What makes him and his fellow-social media giants uniquely dangerous, however, is not their money, but their unprecedented, intimate personal knowledge of billions of people. No human can be entrusted with such data.

Dangerous. There is ZERO outcry when these giants work with China, Iran and other dictatorial countries to install repressive filters to block any information that the government deems undesirable. Don’t even think for a second they are not doing in U.S. according their own unpublished standards.

 

Amazon, Google, Facebook and the retail giants are destroying media and local businesses.  The game is rigged against local.  If these giants succeed local communities become ghost towns.

Google, Facebook, Amazon and the other tech giants dancing on the edge of legality

Google could face a $9bn EU fine for rigging search results in its favour

 

Google faces $9Billion EU fine

The EU, of which I am not a fan, gets this one right.  Google rigs its search results.

The European Commission’s decision will come after a seven-year investigation into the world’s most popular internet search engine was triggered by scores of complaints from both US and European rivals.  The EU competition authority accused Google in April 2015 of distorting internet search results to favour its shopping service, harming both rivals and consumers.

What most small businesses never discover is that Goggle rigs search results 24/7/365.  There is ZERO ability of a small or medium businesses to discover the Google bait and switch.  The bait is that Google, ad agencies, advertising media and local media all market to local businesses to invest in Google search.  What they NEVER reveal is that regardless of how much a local business it is NOT going to appear in a typical search on Google.  Keep in mind shoppers rarely get past the first three listings.

 

The Commission’s tough line is in sharp contrast with the US Federal Trade Commission which settled its own web search case with the company in 2013 by requiring Google to stop “scraping” reviews and other data from rival websites for its own products.

Google is not alone in rigging its searching results.  Facebook, Amazon, Yelp, and all the other online companies do EXACTLY the same thing.  The local business does not stand a chance when it attempts to reach new customers looking for their product.

One of my favorite examples is a local Italian bakery.  This Italian bakery has been in business forty years and is the only one in our local town.  Type in local Italian bakery, Italian bakery, Italian bakery in this local town and they do NOT show up until page 3 or 4 depending on what search engine.

Local media companies need to stop attempting to working with Google, Facebook, Amazon and the other tech giants and fight back.  Run stories about the corruption of these tech giants.  This is not a call for revolution but instead a pragmatic call to fight for the survival of local.

 

 

Amazon Expands into Health

 

Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway And JPMorgan Chase Launch New Health Care Company

Amazon moves into health care

When you read this following paragraph about the just announced new Amazon, J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway you should step back and consider what they really mean “free from profit-making incentives and constraints.”

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett (left) in 2017; Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, in 2013; and JP Morgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon in 2013. Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon and JPMorgan Chase are teaming up to create a health care company announced Tuesday that is “free from profit-making incentives and constraints.”

Here’s what it means:
– this giants are using money from other divisions to fund this new health care company
– they are after data
– they aren’t doing it for profits
– they have the powerful Amazon cloud to power it.

Their stated goal is to provide high quality health care for their employees at a lower cost.

Their real goal is to control health care data.  Amazon is an voracious monopoly which uses its technology and reach to gobble up of the markets.  Berkshire Hathaway uses its power to buy up local newspapers and real estate offices.  Together they represent a threat to local businesses, local real estate agencies, local insurance companies.

Have no doubt!  Their health care idea is a good one.  Healthcare needs to be reformed and injected with more competition.  But sadly that is not the point.  The point is they have an unfair and monopolistic market advantage because they focus is not on healthcare but DATA.  Unfair because they are using their enormous business revenues to fund this new healthcare enterprise which means they will be willing to lose billions of dollars a year for many years to gain market dominance.

Apple, Facebook, Instagram, Google, and Amazon’s Addiction Business Model

Apple, Facebook, Instagram, Google, and Amazon’s Addiction Business Model

Apple, Facebook, Instagram, Google, and Amazon’s Addiction Business Model

The world, albeit slowly, is waking to the Tech Giants’ Addiction Business Model. See Chamath Palihapitiya a former Facebook employee who has begun to blow the whistle on social media addiction. Their model is simple – provide a platform which requires no expertise, is self-administered, offers unlimited self-involvement, and membership in a cyber world that requires ZERO real world action.

In 2001 a powerful study titled, “Repeated self-administered cocaine “binges” in rats: effects on cocaine intake and withdrawal.” One of the keys to addiction was self-administered. Self-administration addiction.

On January 2, 2018 two powerful Apple shareholders told Cupertino to better protect children from the dangers of its addictive gadgets. In a 2017 Study researchers found, “Using Many Social Media Platforms Linked With Depression, Anxiety Risk.”

Adolescent research from UCLA, the American Psychological Association, and Harvard Medical School found that teens’ overuse of smart devices and social media leads to higher rates of depression, sleep deprivation, weight gain, poor self-image, and a lack of empathy.Negative effects of social media on teens

The Tech Giants are selling something better than cocaine. They are selling self-administered cyber addiction. The tech addiction is based on taking action that the addict believes in some way or other influences a desired outcome: Status, Need gratification, Social currency, and membership in a non-existent, unreal cyber community based on the assumption that “everything about me” is relevant to the cyber community. People belong to cyber communities, not to listen, but to emote, post, and highlight personal mundane events.

In the cyber world the mundane is seen by the self-involved as important. Reactions replace thought and participation replaces real-world action. There is no time or room for understanding, perspective, and another’s POV when the addict fears being left out of the narrative. It becomes essential to the addict to be online at all times. The tech giants want teens and adult addicts online in order to sell advertising and collect data.

There is however an even far greater negative impact from the Tech Giants model and that is what it has done to local media, local business and local communities. The Tech Giants control online search and online advertising. They control who sees what. Keep in mind, few online visitors ever get past the first page of any search. Who appears on the first page is controlled by MONEY. Money that local businesses cannot pay.

The Tech Giants control the cyber world. Addicted teens are simply collateral damage when hundreds of billions of dollars of revenue is at stake.

A staggering amount of U.S. retail stores closed in 2017

Michael B. Kelley // Editor // Yahoo Finance January 5, 2018

A staggering amount of U.S. retail stores closed in 2017
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/staggering-amount-u-s-retail-stores-closed-2017-161401876.html?soc_src=mail&soc_trk=ma

An estimated 7,795 U.S. retail store closures were announced in 2017, according to a new research note from UBS, setting a new record.

Store closures across the U.S.  Previously, the biggest slew of U.S. retail closures came in 2008 with 6,163 locations shuttering, according to a 2017 report by Credit Suisse. That report added that 5,077 stores closed in 2015 and 2,056 stores in 2016.

Looking at six traditional retailers who closed stores in 2017 — JCPenney (JCP), KMart (SHLD), Macy’s (M), Payless, RadioShack, and Sears (SHLD) — Yahoo Finance put together a map showing the wave of about 2,750 closures across the U.S.

Google, Facebook & Amazon’s threats to local business

Google, Facebook & Amazon’s threats to local business

2017-2018 Facts
• Online sales will account for 17% of all US retail sales by 2022. Think about any small business losing even 10% of current sales to online = failure
• Compete in new ways. Active communication about products, sales, sales, coupons, and online.
• In 2017 Facebook and Google account for 84% of new digital advertising and 96% of its growth.
• Amazon captured 50% of black Friday sales and 44% of all online sales in 2017. They reached 38% in 2016.
• Google controls 90% of all online searches
• All local businesses are under life threatening pressure from Amazon, online giants and mega retailers

By Max Hastings for the Daily Mail // Published: 2 January 2018 // RC edited
1984. Almost 70 years ago, George Orwell wrote a nightmare into our language when, in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, he imagined a future in which ‘Big Brother’ scrutinizes an enslaved society with an all-seeing eye. More recently, civil libertarians have warned ubiquitous CCTV and Government surveillance, born out of the fight against terrorism, have begun to fulfil Orwell’s prophesy. Yet both the fictional fantasies and daily realities pale into insignificance alongside the threat posed by social media. Scarcely imagined a generation ago, they have become a monstrous, intrusive presence in almost all our lives, especially frightening because of their influence upon children.

Ruthless. Don’t take my word for it. Facebook’s former technology chief said a few days ago the site is ripping apart the fabric of society — ‘eroding human interactions’ and leaving users feeling ‘vacant and empty’. Headed by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, these men and women are armed with the most personal details about each and every one of us such as no Gestapo, KGB or Inquisition in history ever dreamed of possessing. And all this information is being extracted every second of every day — not by red hot irons and thumbscrews, but because we are handing it over through our own actions.

Comment – there seems to be ZERO outcry when these giants work with China, Iran and other dictatorial countries to install repressive filters to block any information that the government deems undesirable.

As for the scarily addictive Facebook, five years ago, when it reached a billion users, 55 per cent of them used it daily. Today, numbers have doubled — with two-thirds updating their entries every day.

We make constant voluntary sacrifices of privacy in pursuit of convenience and social exchange, seemingly unaware of the consequences. There are 32 million UK Facebook users, and the company uploads more than 300 million images every day. Many of the young not only expose every detail of their relationships, social and working lives, but some also photograph and then broadcast images of themselves having sex. Maja Pantic, a professor of affective and behavioural computing at Imperial College in London, offers a dire warning: ‘As individuals, we must get back the ownership of our own data — we just don’t understand how bad this really is.’

Already there is a fightback. Millions of iPhone users, led by the former chief of the consumer watchdog is seeking a £1 billion settlement after falling victim to Google embedding computer codes in their Apple devices which were designed to reveal to Google the websites users visited. As for the scarily addictive Facebook, five years ago, when it reached a billion users, 55 per cent of them used it daily. Today, numbers have doubled — with two-thirds updating their entries every day. For their part, while YouTube’s bosses profess a willingness to tackle abuses (some of them appalling) and Google at least pretends to think about them, Facebook simply does not care, according to a social media analyst.

The company’s origins explain a lot. Peter Thiel, one of its inventors, formed an early fascination for a 20th-century French philosopher and anthropologist called Rene Girard who identified a phenomenon known as ‘mimetic desire’. His reasoning was that, once human beings have met their basic needs for food and shelter, they are very vulnerable to a yearning to find out what other people are doing, then do it themselves. A testy stand-off happened between the Commons’ Home Affairs Select Committee and executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google, who were lambasted for the appalling content allowed on their sites. Thus, at the heart of Facebook’s stupendous success is how it exploits the human weakness of ‘me-tooism’ (our wish to copy the behaviour of others) on a global scale. Its system empowers individuals to connect with others who think like themselves, in a way that no other medium in history has made possible.

Targeting. In both the political and consumer spheres, Facebook, Amazon, Google, Apple are constantly refining its reach by targeting users with the precision of a telescopic sight through its knowledge of their age, race, sex, shopping habits and preferences. Its partnership with Experian, a consumer credit reporting agency, has dramatically increased its information on people’s credit ratings and purchases, reaching back over decades. Facebook trumpets its benevolence in enabling mankind to connect, to ‘build communities’, as if Mark Zuckerberg was a modern-day Mother Teresa, Walt Disney and William Caxton all rolled into one.

Dangerous. Zuckerberg’s prime interest is to make money from us. Facebook is valued at around £400 billion, making it the fourth most valuable company on the planet. Zuckerberg’s personal wealth is around £60 billion. What makes him and his fellow-social media giants uniquely dangerous, however, is not their money, but their unprecedented, intimate personal knowledge of billions of people. No human can be entrusted with such data, which we should properly view as a weapon of mass destruction. There must be regulation of social media, and every government in the world ought to address itself on how best this can be implemented, without, of course, imposing improper restrictions on free speech. It must be the beginning of wisdom that we understand how wildly excessive and deeply dangerous are the powers of the social media giants, headed by Facebook. They cannot be un-invented, but they must be tamed. Should we fail to do this, these wild beasts will devour our democracies, individual freedoms, media, and local businesses.

 

 

Facebook vs. Reality: why Facebooks ads don’t work

In a June 27th, 2017 a commentary in Media Post, Gord Hotchkiss lays out the problem with Facebook advertising.  Facebook is about self-advertising and Advertisers interfere with the self-adulation.  Hotchkiss writes,  “According to a study from the Georgia Institute of Tech, half of all selfies taken have one purpose. They are intended to show the world how attractive we are: our makeup, our clothes, our shoes, our lips, our hair. This category accounts for more selfies than all other categories combined — more than selfies taken with people or pets we love, more than us doing the things we love, more than being in the places we love, more than eating the food we love. It appears that the one thing we love the most is ourselves. The selfies have spoken.”

If one swills that static around just a bit in your cortical brew it can be quite disconcerting to think that fifty percent 1.9 billion Facebook users are, like Narcissist, captured by their cyber reflections.  To whom are these budding flowers posing for?  What is the outcome?  What is the gain?

Hotchkiss argues that Shakesphere knew the answer,  “All the world is a stage and all the men and women merely players.” Hotchkiss aruges via the social psychology theories of Goffman that, “we are all playing the part of who we want to be perceived as. Our lives are divided up into two parts: the front, when we’re “on stage” and playing our part, and the “back,”when we prepare for our role. The roles we play depend on the context we’re in.”

Here’s the down side for advertisers is that Facebook is not about the consumer but how people, “are obsessed about how they are perceived by others. They’re the ones snapping selfies of themselves to show the world just how marvelous they look.”  This may account for the terribly low click-through-rates of 0.01 to 0.05% of Facebook ads.

Advertisers, like Facebook devotees, have been convinced that being on Facebook means something.  The positive benefits for advertisers is miniscule.  Shoppers, real people who know what they want are different than Facebook devotees.  Hotchkiss via Goffman says, “Others care little what the world thinks of them. They are internally centered and are focused on living their lives, rather than acting their way through their lives for the entertainment of —  and validation from —  others.”   According to Hotchkiss, “Goffman’s theory was created specifically to provide insight into face-to-face encounters. Technology has again throw a gigantic wrinkle into things — and that wrinkle may explain why we keep taking those narcissistic selfies.”

Shopping is fundamentally a face-to-face experience.  It is here that local businesses should be kicking ads but don’t.  They don’t because they think they should be more like Facebook” hip, cool, self-indulgent.  Shoppers, real shoppers, want a human interaction that motivates them to buy and come back more often.

 

The most bizarre twist of Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, et al is the intimacy and acceptance they pretend to offer.  There is no intimacy or acceptance via social media of any kind.  What there is instead is a microphone attached to the ear of the speaker. 

 

 

Advertisers need to pay attention to whom they seek to engage…a person talking to himself or herself or x-self is not your target consumer. Hotchkiss, calls Facebook and social media, “This is pure catnip to the socially needy. Their need to craft a popular — but entirely inauthentic — persona goes into overdrive. Their lives are not lived so much as manufactured to create a veneer just thick enough to capture a quick click of approval. Increasingly, they retreat to an online world that follows the script they’ve written for themselves. Suddenly it makes sense why we keep taking all those selfies of ourselves. When all the world’s a stage, you need a good head shot.”

Advertisers might reevaluate their social media buys and think about shifting focus to person-to-person communication that takes place at the local level.  Imagine for a moment, General Foods, Ford, GM, et al investing in training local employees in local stores about the in-store experience, giving direct in-store shopper discounts, and giving up the board room agreement that, “we need a bigger online strategy.”

EU finds Google stacks search results

Google hit with record EU fine over Shopping service

Google corruption

Google has been fined 2.42bn euros ($2.7bn; £2.1bn) by the European Commission after it ruled the company had abused its power by promoting its own shopping comparison service at the top of search results.

The amount is the regulator’s largest penalty to date against a company accused of distorting the market.  The ruling also orders Google to end its anti-competitive practices within 90 days or face a further penalty.  The US firm said it may appeal.

However, if it fails to change the way it operates the Shopping service within the three-month deadline, it could be forced to make payments of 5% of its parent company Alphabet’s average daily worldwide earnings.  Based on the company’s most recent financial report, that amounts to about $14m a day.

The commission said it was leaving it to Google to determine what alterations should be made to its Shopping service rather than specifying a remedy.  “What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules,” declared Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s Competition Commissioner.  “It has denied other companies the chance to compete on their merits and to innovate, and most importantly it has denied European consumers the benefits of competition, genuine choice and innovation.”

Ms Vestager added that the decision could now set a precedent that determines how she handles related complaints about the prominence Google gives to its own maps, flight price results and local business listings within its search tools.

Google had previously suggested that Amazon and eBay have more influence over the public’s spending habits and has again said it does not accept the claims made against it.

“When you shop online, you want to find the products you’re looking for quickly and easily,” a spokesman said in response to the ruling.  “And advertisers want to promote those same products. That’s why Google shows shopping ads, connecting our users with thousands of advertisers, large and small, in ways that are useful for both.  “We respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today. We will review the Commission’s decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case.”

Fast growth

Google Shopping displays relevant products’ images and prices alongside the names of shops they are available from and review scores, if available.

The details are labelled as being “sponsored”, reflecting the fact that, unlike normal search results, they only include items that sellers have paid to appear.

On smartphones, the facility typically dominates “above-the-fold” content, meaning users might not see any traditional links unless they scroll down.

Google also benefits from the fact the Shopping service adverts are more visual than its text-based ads.

One recent study suggested Shopping accounts for 74% of all retail-related ads clicked on within Google Search results. However, the BBC understands Google’s own data indicates the true figure is smaller.

Seven-year probe

The European Commission has been investigating Google Shopping since late 2010.

The probe was spurred on by complaints from Microsoft, among others.

The rival tech giant has opted not to comment on the ruling, after the two struck a deal last year to try to avoid such legal battles in the future.

However, one of the other original complainants – the price comparison service Foundem – welcomed the announcement.

“Although the record-breaking 2.42bn euro fine is likely to dominate the headlines, the prohibition of Google’s immensely harmful search manipulation practices is far more important,” said its chief executive Shivaun Raff.

“For well over a decade, Google’s search engine has played a decisive role in determining what most of us read, use and purchase online. Left unchecked, there are few limits to this gatekeeper power.”

Analysis: Rory Cellan-Jones, Technology correspondent

This is a big moment in a clash between the EU and the US’s tech giants, which has been going on for more than a decade.  The commission believes it has struck a blow for consumers and for little firms at a time when online advertising – particularly on mobile phones – is dominated by Google and Facebook.  Google believes the regulator has a weak case and has failed to provide evidence that either consumers or rivals have been harmed.

In essence, it sees this as a political move rather than one based on competition law. You can be pretty confident that the Trump administration will share that view.

There’s mounting anxiety in European capitals about something called Gafa – Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon – the four American giants that play such a huge role in all of our lives.

That means we can expect further action to try to limit their powers, with the potential for growing political tension between Brussels and Washington.

Although the penalty is record-sized, it could have been bigger.

The commission has the power to fine Alphabet up to 10% of its annual revenue, which was more than $90bn (£70.8bn) in its last financial year.  Alphabet can afford the fine – it currently has more than $172bn of assets.

But one expert said the company would be more concerned about the impact on its future operations.  “If it has to change the appearance of it results and rankings, that’s going to have an impact on how it can monetise search,” said Chris Green, from the tech consultancy Lewis.

“Right now, the way that Google prioritises some of its retail and commercial services generates quite a lot of ad income.  “When you consider the sheer number of search queries that Google handles on a daily basis, that’s a lot of ad inventory going in front of a lot of eyeballs.  “Dent that by even a few percentage points, and there’s quite a big financial drop.”

Europe v US tech:

At her press conference, Margrethe Vestager insisted her action was “based on facts” rather than any prejudice the European Commission might have against US tech companies.  “We have heard allegations of being biased against US companies,” she said.  “I have been going through the statistics… I can find no facts to support any kind of bias.”  But this is far from the first time the European Commission has penalise US tech giants for what it views to be bad behaviour.

Others to have been targeted include:

  • Microsoft (2008) – the Windows-developer was fined €899m for failing to comply with earlier punishments, imposed over its refusal to share key code with its rivals and the bundling of its Explorer browser with its operating system. Five years later, it was told to pay a further €561m for failing to comply with a pledge to provide users a choice screen of browsers
  • Intel (2009) – the chip-maker was ordered to pay €1.06bn for skewing the market by offering discounts conditional on computer-makers avoiding products from its rivals. Intel challenged the fine, and a final court ruling in the matter is expected in 2018
  • Qualcomm (2015) – the chip-maker was accused of illegally paying a customer to use its technology and selling its chipsets below cost to push a rival out of the market. If confirmed, it faces a fine that could top €2bn, but the case has yet to be resolved
  • Apple (2016) – Ireland was ruled to have given up to €13bn of illegal tax benefits to the iPhone-maker since 1991, and was ordered to recover the funds plus interest from the company. However, Dublin missed the deadline it was given to do so and has said it will appeal
  • Facebook (2017) – the social network agreed to pay a €110m fine for saying it could not match user accounts on its main service to those of WhatsApp when it took over the instant messaging platform, and then doing just that two years later

The commission is also investigating Amazon over concerns that a tax deal struck with Luxembourg gave it an unfair advantage. The European Commission continues to pursue two separate cases against Google.

The first involves allegations that the technology company has made it difficult for others to have their apps and search engines preinstalled on Android devices.

The second covers claims Google took steps to restrict rivals’ ads from appearing on third-party websites that had installed a Google-powered search box.