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June 28, 2016updated 30 Aug 2016 5:47pm

EU looks to file new antitrust charges against Google

News: The charges relate to Alphabet company’s dominance in advertising.

By Vinod

The European Union’s competition watchdog has indicated that it is readying to issue a fresh set of antitrust charges against Google before August.

The charges relate to the search engine giant’s dominance in advertising, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

The latest charges will be the third set by the EU against the company so far.

The European Commission has asked Google’s competitors to allow it to disclose to the search engine the confidential information provided by them to the commission.

The information supports claims that Google is misusing its dominance in advertising.

Rival companies have been given a week by the commission to submit fresh documents, which implies that the EU is close to finishing charges against Google, people familiar with the matter told the publication.

The European Union’s antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager has already filed formal antitrust charges against Google, claiming that the company is distorting its search results to benefit its own shopping service.

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In April, Vestager filed charges against the firm over its conduct with its Android mobile-operating system.

Vestager said that the agency is stepping up its probe into whether Google is resorting to abusive practices with its dominant position in advertising services.

The Silicon Valley-based technology firm earned 90% of its total revenue from advertising last year.

The concern is to find whether Google disallows or thwarts website operators from displaying ads on their websites that rival its advertising business.

The EU is also examining whether the company imposes restrictions on advertisers while using its auction-based advertising service.

In May, The Telegraph reported that Google could face a fine of about €3bn by the European Commission in a long-running antitrust case that alleged company’s misuse of its dominant position in the online search market.

Apart from the fine, Google would have to modify its search practices to be in line with European law, the report said.

The commission can impose a penalty amounting to 10% of the company’s annual sales.

The European Commission says in its antitrust factsheet: "The starting point for the fine is the percentage of the company’s annual sales of the product concerned in the infringement (up to 30 percent). This is then multiplied by the number of years and months the infringement lasted.

"The fine can be increased (e.g. repeat offender) or decreased (e.g. limited involvement). The maximum level of fine is capped at 10 percent of the overall annual turnover of the company."

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