Google reportedly appeals the $1.7 billion EU fine over unfair advertising practices

Google's AdSense illegally restricted client websites from displaying ads from ad service rivals.

US tech giant Google has appealed an EU fine of €1.49 billion ($1.69 billion or roughly Rs. 11,700 crores) for unfair practices through misuse of its dominant position, a source close the case said 5 June. "The Commission will defend its decision" in the European courts, the EU's executive arm said.

The EU Commission fined Google on 20 March, its third major decision against the search engine behemoth.

Brussels sanctioned Google's once-popular AdSense advertising service, saying it illegally restricted client websites from displaying ads from ad service rivals. Google and the EU have been at loggerheads about the monopoly of Google over Internet search in Europe since 2009.

(Also Read: Apple sued by two developers alleging unfair app store practices)

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The original complainant in the decade-long case was Microsoft, but the US software giant later pulled out of the case in a truce with its US arch-rival.

"The misconduct lasted over 10 years and denied other companies the possibility to compete on merits and to innovate—and consumers the benefits of competition," EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in March.

Contacted by AFP, Google declined to comment on Wednesday. The fine brought Google's total tab with the EU to €8.2 billion in less than two years.

In July 2018, the US giant was ordered to pay a record €4.34 billion for abusing the dominant position of Android, its smartphone operating system, to help assure the supremacy of its search engine. A year earlier the EU slapped Google with a fine of €2.42 billion for abusing its dominant position by favouring its "Google Shopping" price comparison service in search results.

Google had already appealed both earlier decisions to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

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