Google has been fined nearly £3.8 billion by the European Commission for abusing its market dominance by artificially stopping third-party websites displaying ads from its competitors.
European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager Tweeted: “Fine of ¬4,34 bn to Google for 3 types of illegal restrictions on the use of Android. In this way it has cemented the dominance of its search engine. Denying rivals a chance to innovate and compete on the merits. It’s illegal under EU antitrust rules. Google now has to stop it”.
The EU accused Google of using its dominance in Android to promote its own services and apps, at the expense of third-party services. The EU investigation started two years ago when the EU said:
“Google has come up with many innovative products that have made a difference to our lives. But that doesn’t give Google the right to deny other companies the chance to compete and innovate. Google has unduly favoured its own comparison shopping service in its general search result pages. It means consumers may not see the most relevant results to their search queries. We have also raised concerns that Google has hindered competition by limiting the ability of its competitors to place search adverts on third party websites, which stifles consumer choice and innovation. Google now has the opportunity to respond to the EU’s concerns. If our investigations conclude that Google has broken EU antitrust rules, the Commission has a duty to act to protect European consumers and fair competition on European markets.”