The European Commission levied a $1.7 billion fine on Google for violating antitrust rules with regards to its AdSense business. EU antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the company abused its dominant position in online advertising by "imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions" on AdSense customers. From the press release:
Back in 2006, Google prevented AdSense customers from showing search adverts from competitors on their search results pages. The tech giant changed stance in 2009 and allowed ads from rival search engines, but with the stipulation that its own adverts were more prominent.
This is the third fine the EU has levied on Google in the last two years. Back in 2017 the commission hit Google with a $2.7 billion fine for abusing its dominant position in search and favoring its own shopping results over that of its rivals.
Google was fined a record $5 billion last year for requiring OEMs to pre-load Google Search and Chrome on new Android devices. Google has appealed both charges, and earlier today the tech giant announced that it would be offering European users the ability to choose their preferred browser and search engine when configuring new Android devices.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.