You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

Over the past several years, Google has faced a handful of antitrust fines in Europe from Search to of course Android. The latest is focussed on its AdSense advertising business, with a penalty expected in the coming weeks.

According to Bloomberg, European regulators are getting ready to fine Google for unfairly restricting advertising rivals. The European Commission opened a case in 2016 over whether the company prevented AdSense for Search users from using competing services.

This product allows sites to create a custom search engine for a domain that can be monetized with targeted ads from Google. Regulators argue that Google is abusing its dominant position in this market by preventing and restricting sites from accepting other advertisers:

  • Exclusivity: requiring third parties not to source search ads from Google’s competitors.
  • Premium placement of a minimum number of Google search ads: requiring third parties to take a minimum number of search ads from Google and reserve the most prominent space on their search results pages to Google search ads. In addition, competing search ads cannot be placed above or next to Google search ads.
  • Right to authorise competing ads: requiring third parties to obtain Google’s approval before making any change to the display of competing search ads.

Compared to the €2.4 billion penalty for prioritizing its Shopping service in Search over rival ones, and the €4.3 billion Android decision that is currently being appealed, the AdSense fine could be lower. Bloomberg reports that Google has collaborated with regulators on introducing changes to AdSense.

More on Google in Europe:


Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

About the Author