Shareholders Carry the Can?
So, how is Google going to explain this one to shareholders. After all, this is not the first time Google have been fined by the EU, and this specific result has been in the pipeline for a long time.
In short, Google cannot tell their shareholders that they are "surprised" by the outcome.
Ordinarily, this scale and type (as near to a criminal fine as you can get without attracting a jail term!) of loss would result in a pretty big shake up in the composition of the board, and the chairman / CEO would be in trouble too. Except that owing to the corporate constitution of Google, Google's seniors can go tell the ordinary shareholder "like it or lump it", because most shareholders have no voting rights in Google.
Why oh why the US permits these types of company constitutions to exist is beyond me; they distort the open market enormously, something that the USA is supposed to be dead set against. Oh it's all very well saying that there's other companies out there in which one is free to invest, but a large number of these enormous new tech companies are all set up in similar ways; there is no real choice out there for the tech-orientated investor.