Statement by Commissioner Vestager on the decision to fine Google for abusive practices

The European Commission has decided to fine Google 1.49 billion euros, for breaking the EU antitrust rules. Google has engaged in illegal practices in search advertising brokering to cement its dominant market position.

This is the third antitrust fine that we’ve imposed on Google. In June 2017, we fined Google for its illegal behaviour in comparison shopping services. And in July 2018, we fined Google for its illegal behaviour relating to the Android mobile operating system and mobile apps and services. As you know, when you type a query into Google’s search engine, you not only get the results, but also ads based on the words you typed in. In fact, that sort of advertising is by far Google’s main source of revenue. Google sells advertising on its own search page. Google also has a business of brokering advertising space on other websites that also include a search box like newspapers, or blogs, or travel sites. This allows the owners of those websites to make money in much the same way Google does on its own site – by selling space next to search results.