The record $2.7 billion antitrust fine that the European Union slapped on Google in June will help drive innovation, the European commissioner for competition told a tech summit Tuesday.
Margrethe Vestager, who has been criticized for targeting U.S. tech giants, said it is a problem when successful companies that dominate a market, like Google, use their power to shut down competition.
"That can end up closing the door to innovation," Vestager said during her speech at the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal.
In June, Vestager fined Google the record amount for abusing its dominance of the search engine market to place its shopping services at the top of web searches. Google decided in September to appeal against the European Commission's decision — a process that might take several years to be resolved in court.
However, Vestager believes that the Commission took the right approach to ensure that small companies can innovate and have a chance to compete against multinationals.
"That's why dominant companies like Google have a special responsibility not to undermine competition... And we had to fine Google because it didn't live up to that responsibility," Vestager said.
"By making sure these markets are open for competition, our decision will help innovation to thrive."