EU’s latest probe into Google won’t conclude this year, antitrust chief says

Europe News

The European Commission’s latest investigation into Google won’t conclude before the end of the year, the EU’s antitrust chief said Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference at the Slush tech conference in Helsinki, Finland, European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the EU’s probe involving Google’s AdSense service would “not be done before New Year’s.” Vestager said last month the investigation was nearing an end which could potentially mean a fine for the search giant.

The EU started investigating Google over its Adsense ad service in 2016, accusing the tech giant of hiding advertisements from competitors in its search function. It has denied the charges. It is the third antitrust case the European Commission has brought forward against Google.

In July, the Commission fined Google a record $5 billion for violating antitrust rules with its Android devices. The previous summer it handed Google a $2.7 billion fine for abusing its market dominance with its comparison shopping service. Google appealed both fines.

Vestager said tech giants like Google and Facebook are facing increasing criticism not just from regulators but from users amid data privacy scandals and monopolistic concerns.

“The giants are still figuring out how to gain back the trust that was lost,” Vestager said.