Google gets new billion dollar fine from EU

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Google has once again received a billion-dollar fine from the European Commission. This time, Commissioner Margrethe Vestager imposes a fine of 1.49 billion euros on the company for abusing its dominant position in the online advertising market. Google would have used its dominant position to disadvantage other advertising companies.

The NIS is reporting this today on the basis of a report from the European Commission. Between 2006 and 2016, Google made demands on sites that wanted to use its advertising network. These requirements were not in line with the rules applicable to the advertising market. In the meantime, Google has already stopped its activities against the applicable rules.

Illegal requirements

Until July 2016, Google made illegal demands on sites that wanted to use its advertising network. For years, Google demanded exclusivity in contracts for AdSense. A website with Google advertisements was not allowed to place advertisements from competing companies. Later, Google changed that policy and demanded the best places on websites. It also forced customers to ask explicit permission before they were allowed to place advertisements from competitors.

For these illegal demands, Google will be fined billions. Analysts had assumed a lower fine, but this is higher because of Google’s huge market share. According to the European Commission, Google had a 70% share between 2006 and 2016. That made it possible for the search giant to make those heavy demands. Ultimately, the fine amounts to 1.29 percent of Google’s annual turnover last year.

Third fine

It is the third billion fine imposed by the European Commission on Google. Previously, the company was fined 2.42 billion euros for abuse of power in Google Shopping. The European Commission also imposed a fine of 4.34 billion euros on the company for abuse of power within the Android mobile operating system. This brings the total amount of fines to more than EUR 8 billion.

However, Google will not lie awake; in 2018 the company had an annual turnover of 119 billion euros and a profit of 27 billion euros. Several parties have therefore questioned the effectiveness of this type of fine. It’s annoying for Google, but in the end it doesn’t hurt at these kinds of huge amounts.

Get well promised

In the meantime, Google itself promises to get well. The company claims that since July 2016, when the investigation started, it has made various adjustments to its policy. The company will also enter into discussions with the European Commission to see whether any other adjustments may be necessary. There is a possibility that Google, as in the previous two cases, will appeal.

Vestager also reports that the European Commission is still receiving complaints about Google. There is therefore a good chance that new investigations will follow and that the legal battle between the two parties will not be over for the time being.

This 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.