Google has been hit with a massive fine by the EU for the third time in less than three years, this time for blocking rival search advertisers.
There are things pretty much all of us use on a daily basis that despite them being around for a relatively short amount of time, we can't imagine life without them. Smartphones, streaming services, iPods. To be honest, the internet in general falls into that category depending on how old you are.
We can still remember a time when the web was in its infancy and we used other search engines aside from Google (yes, we are that old). However, Google has now been the search engine of choice throughout most of the world for well over a decade. A recent fine issued to the search engine giant by the EU suggests that Google's ascent to global recognition was not achieved through hard work alone.
The latest fine Google has been slapped with is for a staggering $1.7 billion and is for blocking rival online search advertisers, reports BBC. Between 2006 and 2016, the EU has discovered that Google was restricting its third-party rivals from displaying ads, thus further assuring its own dominance. It did this by including "exclusivity clauses" in its contracts which prevented rivals such as Microsoft and Yahoo from appearing on search pages.
Google is no stranger to controversy and is also pretty used to being hit with fines by the EU. In fact, of the three fines it has been issued over the past three years, this latest one is the smallest. In 2017 Google had to pay the EU $2.76 billion for doing something similar to shopping comparison websites, and a record $4.95 billion last year for using its Android operating system to block rivals.
As you might have guessed since Google continues to be hit with fine after fine, it can afford these heavy blows. In 2018, Alphabet, the owners of Google, made $30.7 billion in advertising alone. While fines worth billions of dollars aren't necessarily a drop in the ocean, despite their size they are still something Google can take in its stride due to the sheer amount of money it continues to rake in each year.