Europe Fined Google €1.5 Billion for AntiTrust Violations in Search Ad Brokering
The European Commission has recently announced another major antitrust fine for Google. The latest fine — €1.49BN (~$1.7BN) — which relates to its search ad brokering business, where Google involves selling the advertising space related to searches carried out on third party websites.
Speaking at a press conference today, EU competition commission Margrethe Vestegar, who says that the search giant — “by far the biggest” search ad broker in the region, with its AdSense platform taking a share in Europe of “well above 70% since 2006” — had engaged in illegal practices in order to “cement its dominant market position”.
“Today’s decision is about how Google abused its dominance to stop websites using brokers other than the AdSense platform,” said Vestager, noting that the Commission looked at more than 200 tailored agreements with major sites which use AdSense (aka “Google direct partners”) — finding at least one clause that harmed competition.
“There was no reason for Google to include these restrictive clauses in its contracts except to keep rivals out of the market,” she added, saying the Commission’s conclusion is that between 2006 and 2016 Google’s behavior was illegal under EU antitrust rules.
“It prevented its rivals from having a chance to innovate and to compete in the market on their merits.”
Coming back to the point, Google was fined for more than 1 percent of its revenue for abusing its market dominance yet again.
Previously, Google was fined around €5 billion for wrongly using the Android systems to maintain its market dominance.
The antitrust fine which is based on Google’s contract with AdSense. In the contract, The AdSense was prohibited from using advertisements from Google’s rivals.
This is now the third time for Google being fined for its illegal dominance. The total fine is around €1,494,459,000 – 1.29% of Google’s turnover in 2008, when total all these fines against Google, the fine touches around €8 billion.