The European Commission has fined Google 1.49bln euros over violations of the antitrust laws. The organization's competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, announced the conclusions of the investigation into Google's AdSense advertising business case at a news conference in Brussels on Wednesday.
"Google has abused its market dominance by imposing restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party websites. It prevented rivals from placing their search adverts on these websites. We fine Google €1.49 billion for breaching EU antitrust rules," the commission tweeted, citing Margrethe Vestager, the antitrust commissioner.
As Vestager specified, the commission has found three types of anti-competitive restriction in Google's contracts: the company required its ads to have premium placement.
"There was no reason for Google to include these restrictive clauses in its contracts other than to keep rivals out of the market," she added.
Commenting on the decision, Kent Walker, Google's senior vice-president of global affairs stated that the company would make a number of changes to address the EU antitrust regulations.
"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," Kent Walker said. "Over the next few months, we'll be making further updates to give more visibility to rivals in Europe."