Google has been fined €1.49 billion (US$1.7 billion) by the European commission for abusing its monopoly in online advertising.
The latest fine takes the total the company has been fined by the EU Competition Commission to €8.24 billion over the past two years, for abusing its power in markets, ranging from shopping search to mobile phone operating systems.
Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s Competition Commissioner, said, “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. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules. The misconduct lasted over 10 years and denied other companies the possibility to compete on the merits and to innovate – and consumers the benefits of competition.”
The case focused on Google’s AdSense business, which generates text advertisements for third-party websites based on the searches performed on their sites. In 2006, Google told certain websites they would have to use AdSense exclusively in exchange for a higher share of the search revenue generated on their sites.