Google has been imposed fine of $1.68 billion (1.49 billion euro/£1.28billion) by European Union regulators for blocking the advertisement of rival search engine companies.
This is the third time in the last two years when the company has been fined multi-billion dollar by the EU antitrust.
The EU’s commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, notified the company about their decision at a news conference in Brussels on Wednesday.
‘Today’s decision is about how Google abused its dominance to stop websites using brokers other than the AdSense platform,’ Vestager said.
According to the probe, the Google and its parent company, Alphabet, violated the EU antitrust rules by limiting the contract clauses with other websites which uses AdSense, the clauses prevented websites from placing ads of Google rival companies.
The company ‘prevented its rivals from having a chance to innovate and to compete in the market on their merits,’ Vestager said.
‘Advertisers and website owners, they had less choice and likely faced higher prices that would be passed on to consumers.’
Just after the announcement of fine, the company said that they have made several changes and will make a number of other changes to address EU antitrust regulators’ concerns.
‘We’ve always agreed that healthy, thriving markets are in everyone’s interest,’ Kent Walker, senior vice-president of global affairs, said in a statement.
‘We’ve already made a wide range of changes to our products to address the Commission’s concerns.
‘Over the next few months, we’ll be making further updates to give more visibility to rivals in Europe,’ he continued.