The European Union (EU) has fined Google yet again. This time around, the search engine is being slapped with a fine amounting to €1.49 billion (~RM6.9 billion) for breaking EU Antitrust Laws.
To be precise, the European Commission’s Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, accuses Google of abusing its monopoly in online advertising. As Vestager puts it, Google has “cemented its dominance in online search adverts” and even shielded itself from “competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party websites”.
This isn’t the first time Google has been fined for breaking EU antitrust laws. Last year, it was slapped with a fine of US$5 billion (~RM20.3 billion) for the way it handled its Android OS. In what the EU described then as “illegal practices”. Prior to that, Google had attempted to reach out to the EU with an offer to “make changes”. To its dismay, the offer was shot down, and by none other than Vestager herself.
Europe isn’t the only region where Google knowingly violated antitrust laws. Back in 2014, South Korea fined the company almost RM700000 for illegally collecting personal data without the consent of its users. In 2016, The Russian government went after Google for problems with its Android OS at the time. Slapping the company’s wrist with a fine of RM27 million.
To date, Google has been fined a total of €8.2 billion (~RM38 billion) by the EU since 2017. To make matters worse, Vestager said that Google may face more investigations. As complaints against it continue to mount.