European Union imposes Rs 117.2 billion fine on Google over restrictive AdSense ties: Google is again fined by the European Union for a new antitrust issue. The European Union (EU) has levied antitrust fine worth €1.5 billion on tech giant Google over restrictive contracts it forced on customers through its AdSense business. EU antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Google took advantage of its dominant position in the market and forced customers of its AdSense business to turn down advertising from Google’s rivals. The European Union’s top competition commissioner said the misconduct lasted over 10 years and denied other companies the possibility to compete on the merits and to innovate. Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The latest fine imposed on Google is the third major fine imposed by the European Union against the search engine. Previously in 2018, Google was fined by a huge amount of €4.3 billion for misusing its market dominance, and in the year 2017, Google was fined by an amount of €2.4 billion for altering shopping results. Both the cases are currently going on.
Google’s total European Union antitrust bill is €8.2 billion. The latest fine is low as compared to the previous fines imposed on Google by the Europian Union because, in the previous years, Google has worked with the European Union to solve its AdSense relates issues.
Google started selling Adsense for search products to its customers in 2006. This made the entities like newspapers and retailers include a Google search box on their official websites. Whenever any visitor used that search box, Google automatically showed them ads and the commission was divided between the website and Google. In addition to that, Google also made its customers sign a contract according to which they were not allowed to add any rival search engine to their website. In 2016, when the European Union declared the case against Google, the tech giant automatically removed all the terms and conditions.
Vestager said in the recent conference that after the changes made by Google due to the case filed by EU, the visibility of rival search engines has increased to 40 per cent from a very low figure of 6 per cent. Vestager also mentioned that in response to the antitrust case, Google has decided to allow the users to chose their browser and search engine on their smartphones instead of using the pre-installed Google’s browser.
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