Google up to $9.4 billion in total fines to EU, with latest $1.7 billion AdSense penalty

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 20
The European Commission has fined Google $1.7 billion for illegally favoring its own AdSense in search advertising, bringing the company's total fines for anticompetitive behavior so far in the region to $9.42 billion.




"Google is fined 1.49bn for illegal practices in search advertising brokering to cement its dominant market position," announced Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner for Competition, on Twitter. "They shouldn't do that -- it denied consumers choice, innovative products and fair prices."

"Google has cemented its dominance in online search adverts and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party websites," she said. "This is illegal under EU antitrust rules."

Speaking in Brussells, Vestager further added that Google prevented its rivals from being able to compete fairly.

"The misconduct lasted over 10 years and denied other companies the possibility to compete on the merits," she continued, "and consumers the benefits of competition."

The third @Google case: @Google is fined 1,49bn for illegal practices in search advertising brokering to cement its dominant market position. They shouldn't do that - it denied consumers choice, innovative products and fair prices.

-- Margrethe Vestager (@vestager)
Google has not as of yet provided any direct comment about the AdSense case, but instead addresses concerns from previous European Commission rulings. Specifically, he responds to the July 2018 decision of the Commission to fine Google $5 billion for how it required Android smartphone producers to install Google apps.

While not responding specifically about the decision, Google's Kent Walker, senior vice president of Global Affairs, issued a press release about the company's relationship with the Commission. "For nearly a decade, we've been in discussions with the European Commission about the way some of our products work," he said. "Throughout this process, we've always agreed on one thing -- that healthy, thriving markets are in everyone's interest."

Walker says that Google has been listening carefully to the rulings and feedback over time. Google is promising "further updates" to products in Europe to comply with the rulings.

Extract from Google's latest blog about working with the European Commission
Extract from Google's latest blog about working with the European Commission


"We changed the licensing model for the Google apps we build for use on Android phones," Walker wrote. "In doing so, we maintained the freedom for phone makers to install any alternative app alongside a Google app. Now we'll also do more to ensure that Android phone owners know about the wide choice of browsers and search engines available to download to their phones."

As well as the fines for restrictions on Android phone makers and this most recent ruling about search advertising, the European Commission also fined Google $2.7 billion in 2017. The $2.7 billion fine was for a case where the European Commission concluded that the company's comparison shopping service was unfairly weighted toward Google.

"Google's strategy for its comparison shopping service wasn't just about attracting customers by making its product better than those of its rivals," Vestager said at the time. "Instead, Google abused its market dominance as a search engine by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results, and demoting those of competitors."

The European Commission is currently now investigating Apple following an official complaint from Spotify over alleged anti-competitive practices to do with the App Store and Apple Music. Apple refutes the accusation and the case is continuing.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,267member
    The EU has different competition laws than the US. "Google's platform or OS or ad service and if you don't like it use someone else's" isn't a defense as far as they are concerned. 

    You could take that 3rd paragraph, substitute a different name, and perhaps end up with the same result IMHO.
    "(Blank) has cemented its dominance in (blank) and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party (blank)," she said. "This is illegal under EU antitrust rules."

    Note that the EU says "market dominance is not illegal under EU antitrust rules. However they have a “special responsibility” not to abuse their powerful market position by restricting direct competition."
    edited March 20 cropravon b7muthuk_vanalingamJinTech
  • Reply 2 of 21
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,836member
    Bunch of non-competitive whiners they got over there.  :D
    bshankgilly33watto_cobraAppleExposed
  • Reply 3 of 21
    croprcropr Posts: 914member
    gatorguy said:
    The EU has different competition laws than the US. "Google's platform or OS or ad service and if you don't like it use someone else's" isn't a defense as far as they are concerned. 

    You could take that 3rd paragraph, substitute a different name, and perhaps end up with the same result IMHO.
    "(Blank) has cemented its dominance in (blank) and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party (blank)," she said. "This is illegal under EU antitrust rules."

    Note that the EU says "market dominance is not illegal under EU antitrust rules. However they have a “special responsibility” not to abuse their powerful market position by restricting direct competition."
    Indeed.  And this means Apple will most probably get a similar treatment with the complaint Spotify launched.  The EU commission does not mind that there is only one App Store for iOS applications, but It won' t like the contractual restrictions in the App Store Guidelines.  Apple cannot impose such restrictions on the app developers if there is only a single iOS App Store. 
    edited March 20 muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 21
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,231member
    The one thing the EU is good for.
    gilly33watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 21
    ElCapitanElCapitan Posts: 192member
    Good!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 21
    nhtnht Posts: 4,429member
    I don't care for Trump but we should be fining EU companies $94B in response since the EU has elected to target US tech companies since EU tech companies have been singularly uncompetitive vs US and China...and the EU is too chicken to target China.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 21
    gatorguy said:
    The EU has different competition laws than the US. "Google's platform or OS or ad service and if you don't like it use someone else's" isn't a defense as far as they are concerned. 

    You could take that 3rd paragraph, substitute a different name, and perhaps end up with the same result IMHO.
    "(Blank) has cemented its dominance in (blank) and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party (blank)," she said. "This is illegal under EU antitrust rules."

    Note that the EU says "market dominance is not illegal under EU antitrust rules. However they have a “special responsibility” not to abuse their powerful market position by restricting direct competition."

    Maybe if you hope & pray enough it will happen. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    Three words. “Dominant Market Position”

    Used in all the various EU cases against Microsoft and Google. Apple doesn’t have this, especially in Europe where Android is dominant.

    How can the UE ever fine Apple for being the “dominant market leader” when they just fined Android (Google) for the same thing? How can two competing companies BOTH be declared “dominant”?
    olsbshankchasmStrangeDayslostkiwiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 21
    croprcropr Posts: 914member
    nht said:
    I don't care for Trump but we should be fining EU companies $94B in response since the EU has elected to target US tech companies since EU tech companies have been singularly uncompetitive vs US and China...and the EU is too chicken to target China.
    Your assumption that US tech companies are targeted, is not accurate. The EU commission does fine EU companies, but the US press does not cover such stories.
    StrangeDaysmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 9 of 21
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,267member
    gatorguy said:
    The EU has different competition laws than the US. "Google's platform or OS or ad service and if you don't like it use someone else's" isn't a defense as far as they are concerned. 

    You could take that 3rd paragraph, substitute a different name, and perhaps end up with the same result IMHO.
    "(Blank) has cemented its dominance in (blank) and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party (blank)," she said. "This is illegal under EU antitrust rules."

    Note that the EU says "market dominance is not illegal under EU antitrust rules. However they have a “special responsibility” not to abuse their powerful market position by restricting direct competition."

    Maybe if you hope & pray enough it will happen. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    Three words. “Dominant Market Position”

    Used in all the various EU cases against Microsoft and Google. Apple doesn’t have this, especially in Europe where Android is dominant.

    How can the UE ever fine Apple for being the “dominant market leader” when they just fined Android (Google) for the same thing? How can two competing companies BOTH be declared “dominant”?
    Perhaps by being dominant in other ways? Anyway...

    Operating System Market Share Europe

    Operating SystemsPercentage Market Share
    Operating System Market Share in Europe - February 2019
    Windows43.24%
    Android28.76%
    iOS14.23%
    OS X8.02%
    Unknown3.84%
    Linux1.13%

      FWIW over 20% of the "Android" marketshare is NOT Google Android and therefore not under their control. Huawei and Xiaomi both run forked versions for their operating systems.
    edited March 20 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 10 of 21
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,443member
    nht said:
    I don't care for Trump but we should be fining EU companies $94B in response since the EU has elected to target US tech companies since EU tech companies have been singularly uncompetitive vs US and China...and the EU is too chicken to target China.
    The EU doesn't target US tech companies. It targets any company suspected of breaking EU laws.

    That would include Chinese companies but there aren't as many big Chinese breaking the rules in the EU as there are US companies (Microsoft and Google being repeat offenders).

    EU tech companies have never been as competitive nor invested so much in tech as now.

    https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/04/step-aside-silicon-valley-there-is-a-new-tech-hub-in-town

    Not bad by patent registrations either:

    https://www.iol.co.za/business-report/international/huawei-tops-corporate-patent-applications-in-2018-wipo-19990698

    That, on top of high level EU plans to develop its own chipsets at all levels of computing (starting with HPC) and as a result to reduce mission critical technology purchases from the USA.

    edited March 20 propodmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 21
    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    The EU has different competition laws than the US. "Google's platform or OS or ad service and if you don't like it use someone else's" isn't a defense as far as they are concerned. 

    You could take that 3rd paragraph, substitute a different name, and perhaps end up with the same result IMHO.
    "(Blank) has cemented its dominance in (blank) and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party (blank)," she said. "This is illegal under EU antitrust rules."

    Note that the EU says "market dominance is not illegal under EU antitrust rules. However they have a “special responsibility” not to abuse their powerful market position by restricting direct competition."

    Maybe if you hope & pray enough it will happen. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    Three words. “Dominant Market Position”

    Used in all the various EU cases against Microsoft and Google. Apple doesn’t have this, especially in Europe where Android is dominant.

    How can the UE ever fine Apple for being the “dominant market leader” when they just fined Android (Google) for the same thing? How can two competing companies BOTH be declared “dominant”?
    Perhaps by being dominant in other ways? Anyway...

    Operating System Market Share Europe

    Operating SystemsPercentage Market Share
    Operating System Market Share in Europe - February 2019
    Windows43.24%
    Android28.76%
    iOS14.23%
    OS X8.02%
    Unknown3.84%
    Linux1.13%

      FWIW over 20% of the "Android" marketshare is NOT Google Android and therefore not under their control. Huawei and Xiaomi both run forked versions for their operating systems.

    FFS, you can’t be that stupid.

    The only market share that matters is iOS vs Android as they are both mobile. The EU clearly stated in their antitrust case against Android (Google) that they had abused their market position in mobile, not overall OS share.

    Seriously, why do you insist on intentionally lying all the time? You’re truly a worthless fucking troll.
    tmayStrangeDayswilliamlondonwatto_cobraAppleExposed
  • Reply 12 of 21
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,535member
    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    The EU has different competition laws than the US. "Google's platform or OS or ad service and if you don't like it use someone else's" isn't a defense as far as they are concerned. 

    You could take that 3rd paragraph, substitute a different name, and perhaps end up with the same result IMHO.
    "(Blank) has cemented its dominance in (blank) and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party (blank)," she said. "This is illegal under EU antitrust rules."

    Note that the EU says "market dominance is not illegal under EU antitrust rules. However they have a “special responsibility” not to abuse their powerful market position by restricting direct competition."

    Maybe if you hope & pray enough it will happen. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    Three words. “Dominant Market Position”

    Used in all the various EU cases against Microsoft and Google. Apple doesn’t have this, especially in Europe where Android is dominant.

    How can the UE ever fine Apple for being the “dominant market leader” when they just fined Android (Google) for the same thing? How can two competing companies BOTH be declared “dominant”?
    Perhaps by being dominant in other ways? Anyway...

    Operating System Market Share Europe

    Operating SystemsPercentage Market Share
    Operating System Market Share in Europe - February 2019
    Windows43.24%
    Android28.76%
    iOS14.23%
    OS X8.02%
    Unknown3.84%
    Linux1.13%

      FWIW over 20% of the "Android" marketshare is NOT Google Android and therefore not under their control. Huawei and Xiaomi both run forked versions for their operating systems.

    FFS, you can’t be that stupid.

    The only market share that matters is iOS vs Android as they are both mobile. The EU clearly stated in their antitrust case against Android (Google) that they had abused their market position in mobile, not overall OS share.

    Seriously, why do you insist on intentionally lying all the time? You’re truly a worthless fucking troll.
    Remember a time, long ago, when it was only the iOS proponents that were pushing the "fragmented" Android OS meme?


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 21
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,267member
    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    The EU has different competition laws than the US. "Google's platform or OS or ad service and if you don't like it use someone else's" isn't a defense as far as they are concerned. 

    You could take that 3rd paragraph, substitute a different name, and perhaps end up with the same result IMHO.
    "(Blank) has cemented its dominance in (blank) and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party (blank)," she said. "This is illegal under EU antitrust rules."

    Note that the EU says "market dominance is not illegal under EU antitrust rules. However they have a “special responsibility” not to abuse their powerful market position by restricting direct competition."

    Maybe if you hope & pray enough it will happen. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    Three words. “Dominant Market Position”

    Used in all the various EU cases against Microsoft and Google. Apple doesn’t have this, especially in Europe where Android is dominant.

    How can the UE ever fine Apple for being the “dominant market leader” when they just fined Android (Google) for the same thing? How can two competing companies BOTH be declared “dominant”?
    Perhaps by being dominant in other ways? Anyway...

    Operating System Market Share Europe

    Operating SystemsPercentage Market Share
    Operating System Market Share in Europe - February 2019
    Windows43.24%
    Android28.76%
    iOS14.23%
    OS X8.02%
    Unknown3.84%
    Linux1.13%

      FWIW over 20% of the "Android" marketshare is NOT Google Android and therefore not under their control. Huawei and Xiaomi both run forked versions for their operating systems.

    FFS, you can’t be that stupid.

    The only market share that matters is iOS vs Android as they are both mobile. The EU clearly stated in their antitrust case against Android (Google) that they had abused their market position in mobile, not overall OS share.

    Seriously, why do you insist on intentionally lying all the time? You’re truly a worthless fucking troll.
    You didn't read very carefully. From the post you replied to:
    "FWIW over 20% of the "Android" marketshare (in Europe) is NOT Google Android and therefore not under their control. Huawei and Xiaomi both run forked versions for their operating systems"
    I think that puts the Google-controlled Android OS at 50% or less of even European mobile OS market-share. Do you consider that "dominant"? Fair enough if you do, good enough for the EU. 

    And gosh all said without personally attacking you as a bad person or calling you silly names. 

    Anyway here's what the EU claimed about Google Play:

    "The Commission determined that starting in 2011 Google became dominant in the market for app stores for Android, and thus its practice of forcing manufacturers to preinstall the Google Search app was found to be illegal.

    The commission argues that pre-installation (ie Chrome browser) creates a status quo bias for users, as whatever default applications are included with a device are the predominantly retained ones by users, creating a significant barrier to entry for competing alternatives."

    The EU Commission may look at potential abuses by Apple being "dominant in the market for app stores for iOS" quite differently. None of us know, least of all you or me as neither of us are well-schooled in the machinations of European competition law AFAIK. 

    That accounts for my use of the word "perhaps" in the post you took such issue with. Not entirely sure what accounts for your angry ad-hom laden and profane post in return.

    edited March 20 avon b7muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 14 of 21
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 739member
    Bunch of non-competitive whiners they got over there.  :D
    All the whiners are here, European Govs do what Govs are suppose to do, be on the side of the citizens.
    propodStrangeDayswilliamlondonmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 15 of 21
    bshankbshank Posts: 160member
    cropr said:
    gatorguy said:
    The EU has different competition laws than the US. "Google's platform or OS or ad service and if you don't like it use someone else's" isn't a defense as far as they are concerned. 

    You could take that 3rd paragraph, substitute a different name, and perhaps end up with the same result IMHO.
    "(Blank) has cemented its dominance in (blank) and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party (blank)," she said. "This is illegal under EU antitrust rules."

    Note that the EU says "market dominance is not illegal under EU antitrust rules. However they have a “special responsibility” not to abuse their powerful market position by restricting direct competition."
    Indeed.  And this means Apple will most probably get a similar treatment with the complaint Spotify launched.  The EU commission does not mind that there is only one App Store for iOS applications, but It won' t like the contractual restrictions in the App Store Guidelines.  Apple cannot impose such restrictions on the app developers if there is only a single iOS App Store. 
    So the EU will force Apple to allow outgoing website links from apps in the App Store I take it... Have fun with a bunch of malicious phishing sites EU! 🤣
    tmaywilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 21
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,443member
    bshank said:
    cropr said:
    gatorguy said:
    The EU has different competition laws than the US. "Google's platform or OS or ad service and if you don't like it use someone else's" isn't a defense as far as they are concerned. 

    You could take that 3rd paragraph, substitute a different name, and perhaps end up with the same result IMHO.
    "(Blank) has cemented its dominance in (blank) and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party (blank)," she said. "This is illegal under EU antitrust rules."

    Note that the EU says "market dominance is not illegal under EU antitrust rules. However they have a “special responsibility” not to abuse their powerful market position by restricting direct competition."
    Indeed.  And this means Apple will most probably get a similar treatment with the complaint Spotify launched.  The EU commission does not mind that there is only one App Store for iOS applications, but It won' t like the contractual restrictions in the App Store Guidelines.  Apple cannot impose such restrictions on the app developers if there is only a single iOS App Store. 
    So the EU will force Apple to allow outgoing website links from apps in the App Store I take it... Have fun with a bunch of malicious phishing sites EU! 🤣
    You are taking it prematurely. First the EU has to decide if it will launch an investigation. If it does, we'll have to wait for the conclusion. If it rules against Apple, there could be any number of consequences but they will be in the interest of competition and ultimately EU consumers.
    propodmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 17 of 21
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,261member
    Funny how the EU doesn't conclude that breaking up Google would magically stop their lawbreaking. Oh wait, that's because it is a fundamentally stupid idea that doesn't solve the problem.

    That said, the EU should have been imposing fines of about 10x the amount they have done both in previous and current Google prosecutions. Google is aware of the law, but chooses to break it because they earn hundreds of times more money than they might possibly face in fines.

    If the EU or other regulatory bodies actually want this behaviour to be changed, make the fines for clear violations devastating and ongoing until the behaviour is corrected.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 21
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,535member
    avon b7 said:
    bshank said:
    cropr said:
    gatorguy said:
    The EU has different competition laws than the US. "Google's platform or OS or ad service and if you don't like it use someone else's" isn't a defense as far as they are concerned. 

    You could take that 3rd paragraph, substitute a different name, and perhaps end up with the same result IMHO.
    "(Blank) has cemented its dominance in (blank) and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party (blank)," she said. "This is illegal under EU antitrust rules."

    Note that the EU says "market dominance is not illegal under EU antitrust rules. However they have a “special responsibility” not to abuse their powerful market position by restricting direct competition."
    Indeed.  And this means Apple will most probably get a similar treatment with the complaint Spotify launched.  The EU commission does not mind that there is only one App Store for iOS applications, but It won' t like the contractual restrictions in the App Store Guidelines.  Apple cannot impose such restrictions on the app developers if there is only a single iOS App Store. 
    So the EU will force Apple to allow outgoing website links from apps in the App Store I take it... Have fun with a bunch of malicious phishing sites EU! 🤣
    You are taking it prematurely. First the EU has to decide if it will launch an investigation. If it does, we'll have to wait for the conclusion. If it rules against Apple, there could be any number of consequences but they will be in the interest of competition and ultimately EU consumers.
    "...there could be any number of consequences but they will be in the interest of competition and ultimately EU consumers"

    I'm not convinced that the EU is all that interested in consumers, given the interests they have shown in equalizing competition.

    First, do no harm. Don't mess with Apple's consumer privacy and security features. Don't mess with the walled garden. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 21
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,069member
    spice-boy said:
    Bunch of non-competitive whiners they got over there.  :D
    All the whiners are here, European Govs do what Govs are suppose to do, be on the side of the citizens.
    Agreed. It's funny how easily triggered the John Wayne wannabes are by Europe. lol
    williamlondon
  • Reply 20 of 21
    gilly33gilly33 Posts: 237member
    gatorguy said:
    The EU has different competition laws than the US. "Google's platform or OS or ad service and if you don't like it use someone else's" isn't a defense as far as they are concerned. 

    You could take that 3rd paragraph, substitute a different name, and perhaps end up with the same result IMHO.
    "(Blank) has cemented its dominance in (blank) and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party (blank)," she said. "This is illegal under EU antitrust rules."

    Note that the EU says "market dominance is not illegal under EU antitrust rules. However they have a “special responsibility” not to abuse their powerful market position by restricting direct competition."

    Maybe if you hope & pray enough it will happen. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    Three words. “Dominant Market Position”

    Used in all the various EU cases against Microsoft and Google. Apple doesn’t have this, especially in Europe where Android is dominant.

    How can the UE ever fine Apple for being the “dominant market leader” when they just fined Android (Google) for the same thing? How can two competing companies BOTH be declared “dominant”?
    Because all those damn politicians want is money. 
    watto_cobra
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