This week, Google got handed a staggering £1.27 billion fine from the European Commission for alleged illegal practices in search advertising.
For those keeping track, this is actually the third time the European Commission has reprimanded the giant US tech firm in less than three years.
Heres a rundown of the three fines the company has been hit with:
Google was fined £2.1 billion for breaching antitrust rules around its online shopping service back in 2017.
The European Commission found the internet giant had given a prominent position to its own Google Shopping service in its own search engine.
In doing so it demoted rival services in the process and caused unfair harm to other businesses.
The internet giant was handed a record fine of £3.9 billion for using its Android mobile operating system to cement the dominance of its search engine.
The European Commission said Google had placed restrictions on mobile phone manufacturers using Android, such as requiring them to pre-install the Google Search and Chrome browser apps on devices in order to gain access to the Google Play Store.
Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said at the time that the company had abused its position in order to promote its own products. She said it had been denying rivals a chance to innovate and compete on the merits, which was illegal under EU antitrust rules.
This week the Commission announced a new fine of £1.27 billion related to practices around the firms advertising business.
It said Google placed exclusivity clauses in contracts with publishers which it says prohibited them from placing any search adverts from competitors on their search results pages.
The agreements are also said to have evolved to allow Google to prevent competitors from placing their adverts in the most visible and clicked on parts of a websites search results pages, as well as give Google control over how attractive, and therefore clicked on, competing search adverts could be.
Will Google pay the fines?
Google has no choice but to pay the fines if it wishes to continue operating in the EU. However, the company is able to appeal the decisions to delay payment.
Interestingly, the Commission is still within its power to fine the tech giant more money.
The total fines levied upon Google by the European Commission is a staggering EUR 8.25 billion, commented Jonas Koponen, competition partner at global law firm Linklaters.
Although that amount is unprecedented, Commission Vestager commented that it still did not reach the maximum 10% turnover cap which limits the Commission when setting fines in individual cases, he said.
Commissioner Vestager indicated that the Commission may not be finished with Google, as they continue to receive complaints in relation to general internet search with respect to Googles services such as jobs and local search. These comments make it clear that the digital economy is undoubtedly a continuing priority for the Commission.