The European Commission may be readying a third EU antitrust charge against Alphabet's Google as it has asked the company's rivals to share information regarding its AdWords ad placement service.
The company has previously been targeted by the Commission over how it promoted its shopping service in a way that was unfair to its rivals and for how it supposedly used its mobile operating system Android to undermine competitors in the mobile apps sector.
The Commission has reached out to Google's competitors to share information about its search advertising, which often is a sure fire sign that a new charge could soon be levied against the company. However, neither Google nor the Commission have responded to requests for comments on the possibility of a new charge.
Since 2010, the European Commission has had its eyes on the terms and conditions for Google's AdWords and AdSense services. This came as a direct result of complaints from rivals who said that the company had included unfair advertising exclusivity clauses and undue restrictions on businesses that advertised on its site.
Despite its search engine and multitude of products, Google earns a majority of its revenue from its advertising business which made around $75 billion over the course of last year. The revenue earned from the search engine's advertising accounts for 90 per cent of its parent company Alphabet's total annual revenue.
The Commission has decided to delay its ruling in its case against Google's shopping service in an attempt to acquire more documents to help back up its legal arguments.
If Google is found guilty on any of the charges made by the European Commission, it could end up being fined up to $7.4 billion or 10 per cent of its global revenue for each case.
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