EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager will hold a press conference on July 24, 2018 at the EU Commission’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. REUTERS / Francois Lenoir
LISBON (Reuters) – EU regulators are close to finalizing their third case against Alphabet GoogL.O Google, which involves its AdSense advertising service, said Europe’s antitrust chief on Wednesday, hinting that the company could soon face another hefty fine.
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s comments come four months after she fined Google a record 4.34 billion euros ($ 5 billion) for using its popular Android mobile operating system to block rivals.
The company was fined 2.4 billion euros last year after thwarting competitors on shopping comparison websites.
In 2016, the European Commission opened a third case when it accused Google of preventing third parties using its AdSense product from displaying search ads from Google competitors.
“We are nearing the end of this investigation,” Vestager told reporters at the Lisbon Web Summit when asked for updated information on the investigation.
Google rejects the allegations.
Vestager can fine companies up to 10 percent of their global sales for violating EU regulations.
($ 1 = 0.8707 euros)
Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Arrangement by Francesco Guarascio and Jason Neely