The European Commission is hitting Google with a good of 1.49 billion euros for abusive practices in online advertising, saying the search and advertising giant broke the EU’s antitrust rules and abused its market dominance by preventing or restricting its rivals out of working with companies that had dealt with Google. The case revolves around the search boxes which are embedded on websites which display advertisements brokered by Google. Those advertisements are powered by AdSense for Search, a business unit within Google which allows web sites and applications to earn money on search advertisements, much as Google does on its main search page.

But for many years, AdSense contracts also gave Google a broad range of control in the way advertisements work, the EU states. Google comprised the conditions in contracts which covered how its brokered advertisements would seem in search tools which are usually embedded on newspaper sites, sites, and travel companies. The conditions evolved with time, from exclusivity clauses in the year 2006 to relaxed exclusivity in later years. However the practice broken competition, European regulators said, noting that later requirements allow Google to control how it is opponent’s search advertisements would seem including the dimensions, color and font they used. This is prohibited under EU antitrust rules, said EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who’s in charge of competition policy.

The misconduct lasted over a decade and denied other companies the option to compete on the merits and also to innovate, and consumers the advantages of competition.”. She added that in addition to the fine, the ruling means anyone who has suffered harm because of Google’s behavior may also seek redress by Google in national courts.”. Google stopped utilizing the exclusive contract clauses from 2016 when the EU objected to them. This week, the organization says it agrees with the committee’s conviction that healthful markets have wide benefits. We have always agreed that healthful, thriving markets are in everyone’s interest.

We have already made a broad range of changes to our products to address the Commission’s concerns, said Kent Walker, Google’s senior VP of Global Affairs. During the upcoming few months, we will be making further upgrades to give more visibility to competitions in Europe.”. It is the 3rd multi-billion dollar punishment that the EU has lately laid on Google. Last summer, the European Commission issued a $5 billion antitrust good for forcing Android phone manufacturers to set up the Google search program and the Chrome Web browser. And in 2017, the EU fined Google $2.7 billion after discovering the company had used its market-ruling internet search engine to induce people toward another Google product, its shopping services. Both Vestager and Walker mentioned these earlier cases with every one of them saying Google has changed the way it does business as a result. In fact the most recent fine, the EU noted the roughly $1.7 billion represents 1.29% of Google’s turnover in 2018. It adds the good was calculated based on Google’s search revenue in the EU marketplace.