Alphabet reports robust earnings despite European Union fine

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Google's parent company, Alphabet, on Monday crushed Wall Street's earnings estimates despite a hefty fine from the European Union's competition regulator. Remove the fine and Alphabet's earnings rise to $11.75 per share and net income soars from $3.2 billion for the quarter up to $8.3 billion.

Revenue growth has accelerated from the 21% rate of a year ago, thanks in part to an increase in the number of paid clicks, which rose 58% from the year-ago quarter.

The European Commission hit Google with a 4.3 billion euro ($5 billion) fine last week for abusing the dominance of its mobile operating system. That said, it's worth considering that if Google continues to run into trouble with the government, such fines could continue to impact the company's business.

But Alphabet's outlook is tempered by cost concerns, and Amazon.com Inc's encroachment into advertising has threatened Google's lucrative deals with media companies and advertisers. According to Commissioner Vestager, Google had sent its letter about a year too late.

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Alphabet today reported $32.7bn in revenues in the three months to June 30, up 26 per cent compared to Q2 2017, and 23 per cent in terms of constant currency.

Europe's new data-privacy rule, known as the General Data Protection Regulation, also appeared to have had little effect on Google's bottom line.

Reacting to another monster quarter from Google parent Alphabet Inc., a CNBC analyst wondered out loud if the tech giant has become more powerful than the USA government.

Google will be able to effectively shrug off a $5 billion fine and still make close to $3 billion in a single quarter.

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"I think overall it [Android] has created more choice for everyone, not less", Pichai said during the call, when asked about the European Union decision. Sales from its "Other Bets", which include Google's cloud business and hardware division, rose almost 50 percent to $145 million.

Other Bets, the home of Google's riskier, experimental businesses, lost US$732 million in the quarter, versus a loss of US$633 million in the same period a year earlier.

Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai told analysts that investments in artificial intelligence software meant to better predict where to place ads are making its services more attractive to advertisers. Porat highlighted spending on sales and marketing for Google's cloud division, which is hosting its marquee conference later this week.

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