Report on Navigating Ethical Crossroads: Google's Antitrust Fine and the PLUS Decision-Making Model

Published: 2024-01-20
Report on Navigating Ethical Crossroads: Google's Antitrust Fine and the PLUS Decision-Making Model
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Google Ethical dilemma
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 922 words
8 min read

Ethical Dilemma in Google

Google Company has found itself in trouble as it was fined €1.5 billion by the European Union. The EU antitrust commissioner stated that Google had abused its dominant power in making its customers use the AdSense business to sign an agreement that stated that they could not accept adverts from competitor search engines (Vincent, 2019). The commissioner also added that the misconduct had lasted for the past ten years, thereby denying other firms to fairly compete and even come up with new products and services. However, Google's SVP in global affairs assured the commission that it would operate in healthy and thriving markets that support all firms. It also promised to give more visibility to rival firms in Europe in a few weeks.

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Ethical decision-making model

The PLUS Ethical Decision-Making Model can analyze the ethical dilemma that Google Company was faced with. The analysis should be based on the four filters of the model. First, the firm should evaluate whether the decision they made met the policies and procedures set forward for the firm's market performance. It should also analyze if the decision is legal and does not break any law. It should also consider if the decision can be universally applied bearing the same consequences, and lastly, google should check whether the decision meets its self-virtue.

Evaluate all seven steps of the ethical decision-making model. Analyze how each step can be applied to your chosen dilemma

The following seven steps of the PLUS ethical decision-making model can assess Google's decision to solve the ethical dilemma. Therefore, the first step will be to define the problem by utilizing the PLUS filters provided. In this step, Google has to define the problem and how it has affected its operations. It should also state how customers were coerced into supporting unfair competition making the firm fined by the EU. Problem definition also involves the motives that lead to the issues of maintaining market dominance; however, the firm used the wrong means.

The next step is to gather information and seek guidance from leaders, experts, or mentors concerning the problem. In the case of Google Company, it can discuss the issue with the board of directors and even external marketing consultants to find a better way of maintaining its marketing dominance. It can also use the comments from the people to make an informed decision.

The third step will be to identify alternatives for the solutions. In this case, Google can use other ways of managing its competitive advantage by producing better quality services and products to maintain customer loyalty (Cantonjos, 2020). It can also enhance its marketing and innovation to gain a competitive lead over rival firms in the industry.

The fourth step will be to evaluate the proposed objectives holistically to come up with a solution. For example, if Google increases its marketing plans, it will incur more costs, but the sales and profits can increase. Maintaining product and service quality is part of the firm's value proposition; therefore, it can solve the problem.

The fifth step will be to make an informed decision after carefully considering all the possible alternatives (Elbe & Brand, 2016). In this case, Google can deliver quality products and services that will outweigh their rivals and develop a firm's competitive lead. In so doing, it will have fairly competed with the rival company and not violate any policy or law related to competition.

The sixth step will be to implement the decision, which can be done through service and product re-engineering. Likewise, the firm can also enhance its customers' management services by providing discounts and additional benefits for using its product over other substitutes. The seventh step is to evaluate the performance of the proposed decision to measure its effectiveness and look for areas of defects that limit its performance. Google can conduct continuous performance analysis that entails an assessment of ethical performance and corporate social responsibility.

Evaluate how the model could have mitigated the ethical dilemma at your chosen organization.

The PLUS ethical decision-making model could have been effective in helping Google mitigate the ethical dilemma and avoid the fine charged by the EU Commission. Using the PLUS filters, the firm could have evaluated and avoided instructing customers to avoid adverts from rival firms (Schwartz, 2016). The firm should consider disowning the decision because it violates the customer's rights to choose which firm to operate with and limits the performance of other firms.

The decision is considered unethical and leads to unfair competition; therefore, it cannot be universally applied. Therefore, following the PLUS ethical decision-making model, google can develop a decision or strategy that meets the legal policies and regulations and can be universally applied. Also, it has no harm to other third parties. Therefore, the firm can review its decision, as stated in the last step of the decision-making model, to come up with new strategies for maintaining market dominance and continuous profitability. The model can help google company strengthen its brand image by observing corporate social responsibility and avoiding legal charges.


Cantonjos, D. (2020). Ethical Decision-Making Model.

Elbe, A. M., & Brand, R. (2016). The effect of ethical decision-making training on young athletes' attitudes toward doping. Ethics & Behavior, 26(1), 32-44.

Vincent, J. (2019). Google hit with €1.5 billion antitrust fine by EU.

Schwartz, M. S. (2016). Ethical decision-making theory: An integrated approach. Journal of Business Ethics, 139(4), 755-776.

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Report on Navigating Ethical Crossroads: Google's Antitrust Fine and the PLUS Decision-Making Model. (2024, Jan 20). Retrieved from

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