Ethical Scandal by Google Inc
Business ethics is critical for any business because its failure to adhere to ethical standards could quickly bring down any company. However, despite considerable efforts, most companies often fall victim at some point. For instance, Google Inc. is a big brand that no one would expect to be involved in an ethical scandal, yet it happens. One major one was in 2019 when the European Union accused Google of abusing its stake as the biggest market holder to inconvenience other small competitors. The scandal involved the company forcing AdSense customers to sign contracts forbidding them from advertising on other search engines (Western Governors University, 2021). Typically, the other small search engines would not get any business since most people prioritize big companies. Given that Google Inc. is the premier search engine, most customers had no option but to sign because they wanted bigger visibility. This may look like a smart business strategy, but it is unfair and competitors because it does not provide free will but manipulation. Even worse, they were accused of manipulating search results, attracting a fine of $ 9.3 billion by the EU. Consumers were also unhappy with these discoveries, some opting out of using Google and associated products.
Google knowing how public perception affects market growth, did not delay making a public apology in a statement. They stated that they were working on making changes to audit their system to give all companies a fair representation of their system. This was sufficient to reduce the uproar from the public, but the scandal led to a further probe by the United States on ethical issues, and the EU continues to pursue the tech company on other ethical issues (Whalen, 2020). Thus, while the public trust was won, limiting a blow on its market share, the company has still not effectively managed the situation and will likely continue losing billions of dollars in fines.
Western Governors University. (2021, March 2). Ethical Dilemmas: How Scandals Damage Companies. Western Governors University. https://www.wgu.edu/blog/ethical-dilemmas-how-scandals-damage-companies1909.html#close
Whalen, J. (2020, November 10). Europe fined Google nearly $10 billion for antitrust violations, but little has changed. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/11/10/eu-antitrust-probe-google/