Google might face a third EU anti-trust charge

monopoly (1)Google may face a third EU antitrust charge next month, over its AdWords ad placement service.

According to Reuters, the search engine outfit is already in hot water with the European Commission for promoting its shopping service at the expense of rivals and for using its Android mobile operating system for smartphones to squeeze out competitors.

The Commission has asked Google rivals to share information related to search advertising with the tech giant, a step suggesting the EU competition enforcer could be poised to hit Google with a fresh charge, the sources said.

AdWords and AdSense services were first complained about in 2010 when rivals moaned about nfair advertising exclusivity clauses and undue restrictions on advertisers.

AdWords forms the core of Google’s advertising business which posted about $75 billion in revenue last year, accounting for 90 percent of Alphabet’s total annual revenue.

A ruling in the Commission’s case against Google over its shopping service, which had been expected this year, appears to have been delayed after the Commission asked rivals for more documents in a bid to reinforce its legal arguments, the sources said.

The company could be fined up to $7.4 billion or 10 percent of its global turnover for each case if found guilty of abusing its dominance.

Of course the UK will be dependent on its government to stand up to Google now that it has exited the EU.