Google has breached the EU antitrust rules yet again and so the repercussions hit it badly this time. The European Commission has fined Google with 1.49 billion Euros as it had forced its AdSense clients to sign contracts which barred them from accepting advertising from opponent search engines.
This illegal misuse of its dominant position in the market has led the Commission to fine Google with such a huge amount. Brokering online search adverts is like buying favour for itself and staying away from competitive pressure. Such imposition of anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party websites is unacceptable in the marketing field and also stays illegal under the EU antitrust rules.
Google has held more than 70 percent of the share of the online search advertising market in Europe for over a decade, which is between 2006 and 2016. Not just this, over 90 percent of general searches in some of the European countries are made on Google.
The Google misconduct has lasted nearly ten years and the search engine has also occupied a dominant position. In this way, it has created a hurdle for other companies to compete on the basis of merits and innovation. Consumers have also been pushed aside from the benefits of competition in this regard.
However, such an extensive amount as fine is not to be paid by Google for the first time. It has committed the crime of breaching the European law in 2017 as well, when it favoured its own shopping comparison service, Google Shopping, in search results. It was then fined a record 2.4 billion Euros, after the investigation by the European Commission concluded that Google has promoted Google Shopping results not considering its merits and has thus moved down the ratings of its competitors.
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