Google Is Expected to Get Hit With a Third Antitrust Penalty

The fine is related to Google AdSense

Google has already been fined more than $7 billion. Getty Images
Headshot of Kelsey Sutton

The European Union is expected to soon announce another antitrust fine against Google—this time related to its AdSense advertising platform, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who heads up EU competition policy, is expected to soon announce a fine for the AdSense product, sources told Bloomberg Thursday evening. It’s unclear when exactly the penalty will be announced.  The expected fine follow years of probes into AdSense, an advertising service that helps digital publishers place ads on their pages, and it will finalize several actions the EU has taken against Google for its business practices.

Google has already been fined more than $7 billion, including a record fine in July 2018 related to Google’s practice of favoring its own apps and search engines on Android mobile devices. Google has appealed that ruling. Before that, the commission also ruled that Google was giving its Google Shopping service preferential treatment in search results, which resulted in another major fine.

After investigating Google Shopping, the commission began looking into Google AdSense and whether Google was requiring publishers using the tool to give them preferential treatment and restrict competitors’ ads. In November, the commission said that its probe into Google AdSense was coming to a close.

The fine would be the third major action against Google brought by the EU over concerns of anti-competitive business decisions, marking another bump for the tech company that is facing scrutiny in both the EU and the U.S. Since the implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, Google has already faced additional fines from data privacy regulators.


@kelseymsutton kelsey.sutton@adweek.com Kelsey Sutton is the streaming editor at Adweek, where she covers the business of streaming television.
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