EU fines Google USD1.7 bn for unfair online ad rules
The European Union's antitrust regulators on Wednesday fined Google 1.49 billion euros ($1.7 billion) for abusing its dominance in the online search market by blocking rivals.
 
Google has abused its market dominance by imposing a number of restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party websites which prevented Google's rivals from placing their search adverts on these websites, the European Commission (EC) said in a statement.
 
"Today the Commission has fined Google 1.49 billion euros for illegal misuse of its dominant position in the market for the brokering of online search adverts," EC Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.
 
It is the third EU fine for Google in just two years.
 
"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. 
 
The Commission said the fine which is equivalent to 1.29 per cent of Google's turnover in 2018 takes account of the duration and gravity of the infringement.
 
"The misconduct lasted over 10 years and denied other companies the possibility to compete on the merits and to innovate - and consumers the benefits of competition," Vestager said.
 
Websites such as newspaper websites, blogs or travel sites aggregators often have a search function embedded. 
 
When a user searches using this search function, the website delivers both search results and search adverts, which appear alongside the search result.
 
Through AdSense for Search, Google provides these search adverts to owners of "publisher" websites. 
 
Google is an intermediary, like an advertising broker, between advertisers and website owners that want to profit from the space around their search results pages. 
 
Therefore, AdSense for Search works as an online search advertising intermediation platform.
 
Google was by far the strongest player in online search advertising intermediation in the European Economic Area (EEA), with a market share above 70 per cent from 2006 to 2016. 
 
Google's provision of online search advertising intermediation services to the most commercially important publishers took place via agreements that were individually negotiated. 
 
The Commission reviewed hundreds of such agreements in the course of its investigation and found that starting in 2006, Google included exclusivity clauses in its contracts. 
 
This meant that publishers were prohibited from placing any search adverts from competitors on their search results pages, the European Commission said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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    Japanese court rejects request to extend Nissan's ex-chairman Carlos Ghosn's detention
    Nissan Motor Co.'s former Chairman Carlos Ghosn moved closer to being released on bail after a Japanese court on Thursday rejected a request by prosecutors to extend his detention.
     
    Ghosn's arrest in Tokyo last month on allegations of financial misconduct rocked the global car industry and put strains on the alliance he presided over between Nissan and Renault.
     
    He remained in jail on Thursday as prosecutors filed an appeal of the Tokyo District Court's decision. If that appeal is also turned down, the top auto executive's lawyer will seek bail, Efe news cited a person familiar with Ghosn's defence as saying. 
     
    Ghosn was indicted on December 10 on charges of underreporting his income on Nissan's financial statements over a five-year period that ended on March 2015. Prosecutors cited additional suspicions that he underreported his income for the three years that ended on March 2018. 
     
    On Thursday, they sought to hold Ghosn for 10 more days without the possibility of bail on the basis of those additional suspicions, but in a surprise move, the Tokyo court rejected the request. 
     
    The court also denied a request from prosecutors to extend the detention of Greg Kelly, a former Nissan Director accused of helping Ghosn under-report his compensation.
     
    A Nissan spokesman declined to comment on the court's decision, saying the pair's detention was a matter for prosecutors. 
     
    After his arrest, Ghosn was stripped of his role as chairman at Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, while Renault appointed interim management but kept Ghosn on the payroll.
     
    "It's quite rare for a court to reject a request to extend detention by the special investigative division of prosecutors that is handling this case," said Yoji Ochiai, a lawyer and former prosecutor. 
     
    "I was a prosecutor for a long time and never heard of such a decision," he said, adding that the court may have been swayed by criticism from abroad regarding Ghosn's lengthy detention. 
     
    Ghosn maintains his innocence, according to the person familiar with his legal defence. His Japanese lawyer, Motonari Otsuru, couldn't be reached for comment. 
     
    The wife of Ghosn's alleged accomplice Greg Kelly expressed concern for her husband's medical condition in a video statement sent to the Wall Street Journal. 
     
    Kelly has been diagnosed with a spinal ailment called spinal stenosis, which requires surgery to fix. 
     
    "Kelly experiences numbness and shooting pains in his extremities and his symptoms have worsened since his detention," said his wife, adding that the symptoms could become permanent if he doesn't have the surgery within two months. 
     
    The Tokyo prosecutors office, however, said that Kelly was receiving proper care in detention.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

     

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    The Cost of the Office? Trump’s Billion-Dollar Loss
    A new investigation by Forbes magazine finds the president’s net worth has dropped significantly since he took office.
     
    Nearly 20 years ago, Donald Trump told Fortune magazine that he could run for president and make money doing it.
     
    “It’s very possible that I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it,” he said in an interview in 2000.
     
    But now that he’s president, the story is looking a bit different. A new report from Forbes concluded that the presidency has not enriched Trump overall: Measuring Trump’s net worth before he announced his run for the presidency in 2015 to the last two years, Trump’s fortune has dropped from $4.5 billion to $3.1 billion.
     
    In a statement to the magazine, Eric Trump, who is co-managing the Trump Organization, said: “My father made a tremendous sacrifice when he left a company that he spent his entire life building to go into politics. Everything he does is for the good” of the American people.
     
    In this “Trump, Inc.” extra, Charlie Herman talks with one of the Forbes reporters who looked into Trump’s finances, Dan Alexander, and how Trump could have saved millions (and prevented a lot of headaches as well).
     

     
    Courtesy: ProPublica.org
     
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