This morning, the European Union slapped Google with a €1.5 billion fine, which comes to a little over $1.7 billion. This latest fine was over its antitrust practices with its advertising business.
Essentially, for years Google didn’t allow its AdSense customers to feature rival search engines on their sites. Over the years, the company eased up on these rules, but European officials still decided the practice amounted to illegal behavior. This may be an especially tough blow for Google, since AdSense’s contribution to the company’s overall revenue has been steadily decreasing over the last six-plus years, according to Bloomberg.
This is the latest of many European fines Google has been hit with over its advertising practices. The EU levied both a €4.3 billion and €2.4 billion fine, over its mobile advertising business and e-commerce search results. This latest decision brings the bill to €8.2 billion, or a little over $9.3 billion. Google has been appealing both previous rulings.
Google provided me with the following statement from Kent Walker, its SVP of global affairs: “We’ve always agreed that healthy, thriving markets are in everyone’s interest. 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.”
Meanwhile, the EU is reportedly still probing other parts of the company’s business that may pose threats to competition.