Google fined €1.49bn by EU over advertising violations

Keiligh Baker's picture

Google has been fined  €1.49 billion (£1.28 billion) on Wednesday for abusing its monopoly in online advertising.

The Guardian reports that this latest fine takes the total the company has been fined by the EU competition commission to €8.24bn over the past two years, for abusing its power in markets, ranging from shopping search to mobile phone operating systems.

The European Commission, which said the fine accounted for 1.29 percent of Google’s turnover in 2018, said in a statement that the anti-competitive practices had lasted a decade.

“Google has cemented its dominance in online search adverts and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party websites,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

Google allegedly abused its market dominance in the advertising sector by imposing a number of restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party websites, prohibiting publishers from placing any search adverts from competitors on their search results pages.

The AdSense advertising case was triggered by a complaint from Microsoft in 2010.

Last year, Vestager imposed a record  €4.34 billion fine on Google for using its popular Android mobile operating system to block rivals. This followed a  €2.42 billion fine in June 2017 for hindering rivals of shopping comparison websites.

Google’s business model is largely reliant on selling adverts, which generated revenue of 32.6 billion dollars (£28.7 billion) in its last quarterly results.