Europe v Google: Not so Froogle
The European Commission levies a huge fine on Google for abusing its dominance on online search.
SHE was born to Lutheran ministers known to be both tough and principled.
As a child, she thought it unfair that pupils were not allowed to sell fruit and milk in school and successfully lobbied for change.
In her office in Brussels she keeps a statue of a raised middle finger, a gift from a trade union when she was deputy prime minister of Denmark, as a reminder that there will always be critics.
It shouldn't have come as a surprise that Margrethe Vestager, the European Union's competition commissioner, took a tough line against Google this week.
The size of the fine the tech giant will have to pay for abusing its monopoly in online search, 2.4bn euro ($2.7bn), sets a record for European antitrust penalties.
Yet more important than the amount is that she provided a rough guide to how the European Commission plans to deal with online firms which not only dominate a market, but essentially are the market.
In the 2000s Microsoft got into trouble because it had expanded its Windows monopoly by bundling it with its web browser.
By comparison, Google's infraction seems minor.
In 2002 it launched a price-comparison service called Froogle, later renamed Google Shopping.
In 2008 it changed how this service works.
According to the commission, the new version systematically favoured Google's own comparison-shopping results by giving them prominent placement at the top of its generic search results and demoting links to rival offerings to pages further down in its results, where users hardly venture.