The European Commission is getting ready to reach a verdict against Google again – this time against the highly lucrative AdSense. Over the past two years, Google has been fined upwards of €7 billion by the EU Commission, and had to change their operations, but also on the orientation of thier products.
In mid-2016, the EU Commission announced that it would launch a third trial against Google and target the advertising business. After a good two and a half years, the trial is slowly wrapping up, with a verdict to come over the next few weeks, stated a report by GoogleWatchBlog (their information coming from Bloomberg). AdSense for Search, which is a sub-product of the normal AdSense program, is the function that is being scrutinised.
When webmasters outsource their search function to Google and offer a web search limited to their domain, AdSense for Search is used. In such a search, advertising banners can appear, which the webmasters can earn through the AdSense program. It really is a good thing for everyone involved, because the webmaster deserves to earn the hit and users usually get a better search function than on other websites.
However, because of Google's dominant position in web search AND online advertising, and because only AdSense banners are displayed in this search engine and no forms of advertising from external providers can be integrated, the EU Commission feels Google is abusing its top spot. It will be interesting to see what the verdict has to say about this product. The fine probably won't be as high as the two previously stated fines, but what will the future conditions be for the product?
What The Commission May Plan
The EU Commission will probably try to persuade Google into allowing external advertising partners to use the search function. Since Google probably won't be into that, is it more likely that Google will get rid of advertising on AdSense altogether, or stop the whole product, since it has a very small role in relation to the other advertising services? At the end of the day, it may only affect the end user – again. Google is performing a large-scale test to display what the EU's regulations could do, with a lot of the content being displayed quite badly.