It seems that Google just can’t escape the attention of regulators in Europe, with news emerging this morning that the company’s AdSense program is facing antitrust penalties from EU regulators.
After being fined billions in the past years over Android and Search practices, it’s now Google’s publisher ads system AdSense that’s under scrutiny. Why? The EU considers Google’s AdSense contracts as anticompetitive.
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager is set to announce a penalty targeting the AdSense advertising service in the coming weeks, according to people familiar with the probe who spoke to Bloomberg on condition of anonymity. Regulators were probing whether Google’s advertising contracts unfairly restricted rivals.
In somewhat good news for Google, the fine is likely to be lower than in the previous cases, because Google has collaborated with the commission and has already introduced changes in AdSense.
AdSense is a great product for publishers small and large; Ausdroid runs AdSense advertising and it helps us to run our business; without that advertising revenue, many publishers would simply cease to exist.
Personally, I’ve never found Google’s AdSense contracts restrictive in any meaningful way. The rules mainly target placement and usability, such that users should not be tricked into clicking on ads, they should not be excessively used, and so on.
We’ll keep an eye on the EU’s moves in this space and keep you informed.