Google fined $2.3b by EU
BRUSSELS : Google was fined 1.49 billion euros (S$2.3 billion) yesterday for blocking rival online search advertisers, the third large European Union antitrust penalty for the Alphabet business in two only years.
The European Commission, which said the fine accounted for 1.29 per cent of Google's turnover last year, 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.
The case concerned websites, such as of newspaper or travel sites, with a search function that produces search results and search adverts. Google's AdSense for Search provided such search adverts.
The misconduct included stopping publishers from placing any search adverts from competitors on their search results pages, and forcing them to reserve the most profitable space on their search results pages for Google's adverts. - REUTERS