Google Hit With $1.7 Billion in Europe for Abusing Advertising Dominance
European regulators fined Google €1.49 billion (or $1.7 billion) on Wednesday for abusing its dominance in the online advertising business by imposing restrictive and anticompetitive contracts on its European customers.
As American politicians continue to debate and weigh different regulatory and antitrust approaches to Silicon Valley’s titan tech companies, Europe’s regulators are setting a global standard on competition in an industry with many of the world’s largest and most powerful companies. In the U.S., Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren called for the break up of big tech earlier this month.
“Google has cemented its dominance in online search adverts and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party websites,” EU antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager said on Wednesday. “This is illegal under EU antitrust rules. The misconduct lasted over 10 years and denied other companies the possibility to compete on the merits and to innovate - and consumers the benefits of competition.”