EU fines Google $1.7 bn for anti-trust breach

Brussels, March 20 

European Union regulators have hit Google with a 1.49 billion euro ($1.68 billion) fine for abusing its dominant role in online advertising.

It’s the third time the commission has slapped Google with an anti-trust penalty, following multibillion-dollar fines resulting from separate probes into two other parts of the Silicon Valley giant’s business.

The EU’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, announced the results of the long-running probe of Google’s AdSense advertising business at a news conference in Brussels on Wednesday.

“Today’s decision is about how Google abused its dominance to stop websites using brokers other than the AdSense platform,” Vestager said.

The commission found that Google and its parent company, Alphabet, breached EU anti-trust rules by imposing restrictive clauses in contracts with websites that used AdSense, preventing Google rivals from placing their ads on these sites.

Google “prevented its rivals from having a chance to innovate and to compete in the market on their merits,” Vestager said. — AP

The case file

  • It’s the third time the commission has slapped Google with an anti-trust penalty, following multibillion-dollar fines resulting from separate probes into two other parts of the Silicon Valley giant’s business
  • The commission found that Google and its parent company, Alphabet, breached EU anti-trust rules by imposing restrictive clauses in contracts with websites that used AdSense, preventing Google rivals from placing their ads on these sites
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