“Europe’s antitrust regulators slapped Google with a big fine Wednesday for the third time in less than two years, ordering the tech giant to pay 1.49 billion euros ($1.7 billion) for freezing out rivals in the online advertising business,” Kelvin Chan and Raf Casert report for The Associated Press. “The ruling brings to nearly $10 billion the fines imposed against Google by the European Union. ”

“Still, the latest penalty isn’t likely to have much effect on Google’s business. It involves practices the company says it already ended, and the sum is just a fraction of the $31 billion in profit that its parent, Alphabet, made last year,” Chan and Casert report. “The EU ruling applies to a narrow portion of Google’s ad business: when Google sells ads next to Google search results on third-party websites.”

“Google did not say whether it would appeal. ‘We’ve already made a wide range of changes to our products to address the commission’s concerns,’ Google’s senior vice president of global affairs, Kent Walker, said in a statement,” Chan and Casert report. “The EU has led the way in promoting tougher regulation of big tech companies… U.S. regulators haven’t been as tough, though the Federal Trade Commission recently created a task force focused on anti-competitive behavior in the industry.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Too little too late.

You know why there are fifteen ads where there used to be three? Google.

We’d like to see real competition in the online search and advertising markets restored someday.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp: Google must be broken up due to its ‘overwhelming’ market power – March 12, 2019
European Union hits Google with record $2.73 billion fine for abusing internet search monopoly – June 27, 2017
Google’s Eric Schmidt wore staff badge at Hillary Clinton’s ‘victory’ party – November 16, 2016
WikiLeaks emails show extremely close relationship between Clinton campaign and Google’s Eric Schmidt – November 1, 2016
EU alleges Google skews search results to boost its own products and services – July 14, 2016
Eric Schmidt-backed startup stealthily working to put Hillary Clinton in the White House – October 9, 2015
U.S. FTC report details how Google skewed search results in its own favor – March 20, 2015
The FTC’s missed opportunity on Google – January 4, 2013
Google to settle U.S. FTC antitrust probe, sources say – January 2, 2013
Obama to reward Google’s Schmidt with Cabinet post? – December 5, 2012
Google outfoxes U.S. FCC – April 17, 2012
Consumer Watchdog calls for probe of Google’s inappropriate relationship with Obama administration – January 25, 2011
Wired: Google, CIA Invest in ‘future’ of Web monitoring – July 29, 2010

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “TJ” for the heads up.]