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The EU must impose a new Google fine for violation of antitrust legislation regarding AdSense restrictions

Google may be subject to a new record fine of up to $ 13 billion in accordance with European competition rules, or 10% of the company's latest worldwide sales for Alphabet, Google's parent, an amount of $ 136.8 billion , an increase of 23% on an annual basis. This would be the third time that the European Commission could severely punish the Mountain View glove. The first two fines were imposed for abuse of dominant position. But it is very unlikely that the amount of the sanction will reach this level, because the European Commission has never condemned a company the maximum penalty.

According to an article in the Financial Times on Friday citing three anonymous sources, the European Commission is expected to impose a new massive fine on US Google next week for abuse of dominance. In particular, European competition services, led by Margrethe Vestager, blame Google for abusing its dominant position with its adSense advertising revenue, which holds 80% of the European online advertising market in Europe. Google accuses itself of abusing its dominant position by artificially limiting the ability of third-party websites to display competing contextual ads, according to the 2016 indictment.

Google contractually limits how third-party websites display competing advertisements. The EU file is based on the Google requirements that were introduced in 2006. For the latter websites, some third-party websites had to use their AdSense advertising service only if they wanted to include the Google search box on their site. Frame searches show Google ads and with Google as a dominant position in the European market for online search ads, the Commission warned the company in 2016 that it believed it was illegally abusing its search engine. position.

The Commission's allegation at the time was essentially based on three points: that Google obliged third-party websites not to use competitors' research advertisements; that she has asked them to reserve the most important places on her Google search results pages; and that Google requires that they request permission to change the display of competing search ads.

This means that consumers do not necessarily see the most relevant results in response to their requests. We are also concerned that Google has hampered competition by the ability of its competitors to place contextual advertisements on third-party websites, thereby damaging consumer choice and innovation, the Commission said.

These restrictions were relaxed by the American company in 2009 to meet the concerns of the European Commission. Internet sites could therefore emphasize competing advertisers on their pages. However, they were forced to show a minimum number of Google ads in prime locations. They also had to grant the American glove the right to approve changes to competitors' announcements. According to the Commission's allegations, the internet glove therefore continues to violate European antitrust legislation.

In July last year the American glove was ordered to pay 4.3 billion euros. He was accused of using Android to unfairly strengthen his dominance in online research to the detriment of his rivals. But the relationship with some of & # 39; s largest phone manufacturers (contracts to install Google Search and Google Chrome if they want to access the company's popular services) also hampers consumer choice and reduces competition.

It was also forced to pay 2.4 billion euros in 2017 to harm its competitors in its research results. What Google has done is illegal under EU competition rules. It has prevented other companies from competing based on their earnings and innovating. Moreover, it has prevented European consumers from benefiting from the choice of services and from fully benefiting from innovation, says Margrethe Vestager, the Commissioner responsible for competition policy.

According to the sources of the Financial Times, Margrethe Vestager will specify the amount of the fine next week. The fine ends the investigation that has been on AdSense for three years, even if Google has the possibility to appeal. On the other hand, European competition authorities continue to closely monitor Google's behavior on other services such as travel or job search. They are therefore likely to open new investigations.

The European elections, which will take place this year, will end the mandate of Jean-Claude Juncker, Head of the Commission and the reign of Margrethe Vestager with. To continue with this new record from Google and the new investigations to come, Denmark must appoint the new Mr Vestager, in charge of competition policy, the new President of the Commission should stick to the direction of competition and the new The European Parliament must approve his candidacy for this position.

source: The Financial Times

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