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Europe slaps Google with $2.5 billion fine

March 21, 2019 11:54 am

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 (NZ$2.46 billion) for freezing out rivals in the online advertising business.

The ruling brings to nearly US$10 billion (NZ$14.5 billion) the fines imposed against Google by the European Union. And it comes at a time when big tech companies around the world are facing increasing regulatory pressure and fierce political attacks over privacy violations, online misinformation, hate speech and other abuses.

Still, the latest penalty isn’t likely to have much effect on Google’s business.

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It involves practices the company says it already ended, and the sum is just a fraction of the US$31 billion in profit that its parent, Alphabet, made last year.

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