The executive arm of the EU, the European Commission, is investigating Google for antitrust infractions in its marketing company, while the UK is stepping up regulatory pressure for Big Tech.
Having already hit the U.S. tech giant with a $2.7 billion fine in 2017 (for limiting comparison-shopping competitors in its search results page) and a $5 billion fine last year (for putting software application rivals in the Android environment at an unfair disadvantage,) the Commission will apparently release another round of punitive damages next week.
The fine’s impending nature was reported Friday by the Financial Times, citing three unnamed sources.
Presented in 2006, “AdSense for Search” boxes are utilized by third-party websites to enable users to quickly browse their websites. Any searches will likewise raise adverts by Google.
Google, which has already paid nearly €7 billion in fines for two other EU cases, formerly blocked companies from also running online adverts from contending marketing businesses.
In these cases, the European Commission cited three main issues with the search engine. It was forcing publishers not to source ads from competitions, it reserved the highest viewed spaces for its ads, and Google required publishers to seek its permission each time they wanted to alter the display of contending search ads.
The Big Tech company changed the restrictions around the tool after publishers complained that the search engine stopped them from running other campaigns on their websites. And with mounting EU pressure, it made a few more alternations, though it would not admit fault for breaking EU antitrust laws.
Google is still appealing its previous fines. As for the level of penalty that can be expected this time around, some are putting the figure at over $13 million.
Big Tech regulation in the spotlight
Online websites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have come under fire in recent years for enabling phony material to spread on their platforms.
The companies have been purchasing security steps to get rid of incorrect accounts and misinformation, but UK regulators are stating that a federal government firm must enforce these efforts. It also said they ought to sign a “standard procedure” to govern their agreements with publishers.
UK regulators will analyze instances of illegal hate speech, such as ISIS recruitment videos or bigotry, to more difficult to spot forms of abuse, such as online child grooming, or bothersome material around suicide and self-harm. Fake news will also fall on the regulator’s agenda.