Google fined €1.49 billion by the European Commission for abusing its market dominance

    26 March 2019 | Rianda Markram

    Google fined €1.49 billion by the European Commission for abusing its market dominance 

    The European Commission has fined Google €1.49 billion for abusing its market dominance in the online search advertising market by imposing restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party websites that prevented its competitors from placing their search adverts on these websites.

    In response, Google's global affairs head Kent Walker, said: "We've always agreed that healthy, thriving markets are in everyone's interest.

    "We've already made a wide range of changes to our products to address the Commission's concerns.

    "Over the next few months, we'll be making further updates to give more visibility to rivals in Europe."

    This latest fine follows similar fines that Google received recently, in 2018 it was fined €4.34 billion for using its Android operating system to block rivals and in 2017 it was fined €2.42 billion for restricting rivals of shopping comparison websites.  

    Closer to home, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has announced its plans for promoting competition and ensuring markets work well after Brexit. The guidance includes references to additional responsibilities the CMA will take and how it is preparing for a possible no-deal scenario.

    The government has also published and updated a series of technical notices setting out what businesses and citizens would need to do in a ‘no deal’ scenario, so they can make informed plans and preparations.

    This feature was written in collaboration with the lawyers at Markel Law, who regularly comment on SME related matters. You can stay up to date with the latest legal changes on the Markel Law Blog, written in plain English, so that you understand the implications that is has for you as a small business owner.

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