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European Commission slaps Google with €1.49 billion for violating EU anti-trust rules

The European Commission has fined Google €1.49 billion, or 1.29% of Google's turnover in 2018, for breaching EU antitrust rules. The commission said that Google abused its market dominance by placing restrictions on third-party websites which prevented Google's rivals from placing ads on the websites. The restrictions relate to Google's advertising contracts with publishers which favoured Google's own ads over publishers (and thus competitors) ads. The company's practices amount to an abuse of Google's dominant position in the search ads intermediation market, the commission stated, since it prevented competition on merits: "Market dominance is, as such, not illegal under EU antitrust rules. dominant companies have a special responsibility not to abuse their powerful market position by restricting competition, either in the market where they are dominant or in separate markets..." European Commissioner for competition Margrethe Vestager said Google had "cemented its…

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