BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Google was hit with a 1.49-billion-euro ($1.7 billion) fine on Wednesday, the third antitrust sanction from the European Union in two years after a record-breaking 4.34 billion euro penalty last year and a 2.4-billion-euro sanction in 2017 over its anti-competitive practices.
The European Commission said Google, a division of Alphabet, had prevented third parties using its AdSense advertising service from displaying search advertisements from Google’s competitors.
** Below is a timeline of Google’s antitrust cases in Europe:
** March 20 2019 - EU antitrust enforcers slap a 1.49 billion-euro ($1.7 billion) fine on Google because it hindered rivals in online search advertising for a decade.
** July 18 2018 - EU antitrust regulators hand down a record 4.34 billion euro fine to Google over its Android mobile operating system after a three-year long investigation.
** June 27 2017 - EU fines Google 2.4 billion euros for thwarting rivals of shopping comparison websites.
** July 14 2016 - EU sets out another charge against Google’s shopping service. It also accuses the company of preventing third parties using its AdSense product from displaying search advertisements from Google’s competitors - a third case against the company.
** April 20 April 2016 - EU sends a charge sheet to Google outlining the company’s anti-competitive practices with regard to Android smartphone makers and apps makers.
** April 15 2015 - EU opens investigation into Google’s Android smartphone operating system.
** April 15 2015 - EU charges Google with blocking competitors of its price comparison shopping service.
** Sept 2014 - Joaquin Almunia, European Competition Commissioner at that time, says he will not be able to wrap up the Google case before his mandate ends in October.
** May 2014 - Almunia says feedback from complainants will be crucial to determining whether he accepts Google’s concessions.
** Feb 5 2014 - Google improves its concessions related to online search.
** 2013 - Lobbying group FairSearch files a complaint about Google’s Android business practices to the European Commission.
** April 25 2013 - EU seeks feedback from rivals and users to Google’s concessions.
** April 3 2013 - Google offers concessions related to online search and its AdSense advertising network to address EU competition concerns, without admitting wrongdoing.
** Nov 30 2010 - European Commission opens investigation into allegations that Google has abused its dominant position in online searches following 18 complaints.
** 2010 - Microsoft complains about Google’s practices related to its AdSense advertising service.
** Nov 3 2009 - British price comparison site Foundem complains about Google’s online search to the European Commission.
Reporting by Foo Yun Chee. Editing by Jane Merriman