European Union fines Google €1.5bn for breach of competition rules

European Union fines Google €1.5bn for breach of competition rules

Vestager continued, "Google has...shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party websites".

The European Commission has fined Google €1.5 billion for throttling competitors in the internet search advertising market.

But the Commission said that Google's practice of including exclusivity clauses in such deals meant those publishers could not place ads from Google's rivals.

E-marketing analyst Bill Fisher noted a "growing wave of sentiment" toward curbing the influence of Big Tech and said that even if the EU's rulings apply only to Google's European operations, Google should "begin to open up, become more transparent and possibly look to alter some of its business practices" worldwide.

The new penalty comes on top of a $2.7 billion fine Google received in 2017 for disadvantaging other comparison-shopping providers on its results pages, and last year's $5 billion fine for abusing its position in the Android ecosystem.

Basically, Google was bundling its ad platform with its custom search engine for websites, and the European Commission ruled that arrangement was anti-competitive toward other ad providers.

In June 2017, the corporation was slapped with a €2.42 billion ($2.7 billion) European Union antitrust fine, after it was found to have abused its dominant position by "systematically favoring its own shopping comparison service".

Google "prevented its rivals from having a chance to innovate and to compete in the market on their merits", Ms. Vestager said.

"When I cite the numbers that we have now and the intentions from Google in the Android decision, we don't have a non-compliance issue as of now", she told a press conference.

Also during March 2009, Google added new clauses to contracts requiring publishers to ask for "written approval from Google before making changes to the way in which any rival adverts were displayed", allowing the Alphabet unit to "control how attractive, and therefore clicked on, competing search adverts could be".

The AdSense For Search service - known simply as AdSense - lets Google act as a middleman between advertisers and website owners who want to make money by selling space for ads.

Google's senior vice president of global affairs, Kent Walker, responded, saying: "We've always agreed that healthy, thriving markets are in everyone's interest". Walker writes. "As a result, over the next few months, we'll be making further updates to our products in Europe". Regulators recently have started scrutinizing Google's handling of local search results, following a complaint brought by Yelp previous year.

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