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Google fined €1.49bn by EU for restricting rivals’ ads

Google has been fined €1.49bn (£1.28bn) by the EU for breaching competition laws with its AdSense advertising service – its third such fine in as many years.

Announcing the new fine, the EU’s competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Google had restricted rivals from appearing in online search advertisements.

Ms Vestager said the company had been fined for its “illegal practices in search advertising brokering to cement its dominant market position”.

“They shouldn’t do that – it denied consumers choice, innovative products and fair prices,” added Ms Vestager.

In response, a Google spokesperson said the company had made a “wide range of changes” to address the commission’s concerns.

The fine was issued because AdSense, one of Google’s online advertising programs that allows websites to automatically serve targeted ads, was rigged to prevent rivals from appearing in those ads.