INTERNATIONAL – Google was fined €1.49 billion (R24bn) on Wednesday for blocking rival online search advertisers, the third large EU antitrust penalty for the Alphabet business in only two years.
The European Commission, which said the fine accounted for 1.29 percent of Google’s turnover in 2018, said in a statement that the anti-competitive practices had lasted a decade.
“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,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.
The case concerned websites, such as of newspaper or travel sites, with a search function that produces search results and search adverts. Google’s AdSense for Search provided such search adverts.
Google says it is complying with EU antitrust orders