Borgen muse Margrethe Vestager shows off credentials as Denmark's "Iron Lady" with €2.4bn Google fine

William Turvill
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Margrethe Vestager was appointed European commissioner for competition in 2014 (Source: Getty)

Margrethe Vestager has had a busy couple of days. Fresh from approving Italy’s bailout of two Venice banks over the weekend, the European Commission competition chief handed out a €2.4bn (£2.1bn) fine to Google today.

Google, punished for promoting its own shopping comparison service at the top of search results, is not the first tech giant to suffer at the hands of the woman dubbed Denmark’s “Iron Lady”.

The University of Copenhagen economics graduate, who is said to be the inspiration behind Birgitte Nyborg, the cool-headed Danish prime minister in the hit TV show Borgen, was appointed European commissioner for competition in 2014.

Read more: European Commission blocks London Stock Exchange-Deutsche Boerse merger

As well as probing Google in three areas, Vestager last year decided that Ireland should have to recover up to €13bn from Apple in back taxes.

She has made similar rulings in relation to Starbucks in the Netherlands and Fiat in Luxembourg, and charged Amazon and McDonald’s.

Bearing in mind her Google investigations, it may be unsurprising to learn that Vestager lets other platforms compete for her search time. In an interview with Wired earlier this year, she revealed that as well as Google, she also uses DuckDuckGo and Microsoft’s Bing for searching the web.

Read more: Ouch. Google hit with record €2.4bn fine by the European Commission

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