Earlier this year, Google was fined by the European Union for unfair competition with online advertisements. The fine amounts to EUR 1.5 billion, the third antitrust fine so far. Google does not resign itself to this and goes into the counter-attack.
Google has lodged an appeal with the General Court of the European Union. The search giant does not give more details about his motivation for the time being. At the end of March, Kent Walker, responsible for Global Affairs at Google, had given a clear response to the conviction.
We have already made many changes to our products to meet the Commission’s concerns. In the next few months we will carry out further updates to give more visibility to rivals in Europe.
According to European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, Google is abusing its dominant position in the search engine market by including restrictive clauses in contracts with AdSense customers that prevent these websites from displaying advertisements from competing search engines. This misconduct lasted for more than ten years and deprived other companies of the opportunity to compete and innovate fairly, Vestager said at a press conference.
Since competitors such as Microsoft Bing and Yahoo cannot place their search ads with Google, external search websites are important parties for these companies to further expand their business in competition with Google, according to Vestager.
After examining hundreds of agreements between Google and its main Adsense for Search customers from the period between 2006 and 2016, the European Commission has found that these contracts contain several restrictive clauses, which enforce exclusivity or at least priority (premium placement) for Google’s search advertisements. The clauses were withdrawn by Google in 2016, a few months after the Commission had denounced the situation and started its investigation.
It is already the third European antitrust fine for Google in as many years. Last year, the company was fined no less than EUR 4.3 billion for abusing its dominant position in the mobile market. The year before, it was fined $2.4 billion for manipulating search results in Google Shopping. Google is currently still appealing against both fines.
Related: Google again receives European billion-dollar fine for unfair competitionThis news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.