European Union regulators on Wednesday fined Google $1.69 billion for stifling online advertising competition. The European Union's commissioner for competition, Margrethe Vestager, said Google hampered rivals' ability to "compete and innovate fairly" by placing exclusivity contracts on publishers that prevented them from including search results from Google's competitors. "Google has cemented its dominance in online search adverts and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party websites. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules," Vestager said. Google Senior Vice President of Global Affairs Kent Walker said the company believes "healthy, thriving markets are in everyone's interest," and that Google had "already made a wide range of changes to our products to address the commission's concerns."
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