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During the past 10 years, Google has paid more than $9.5 billion in fines to the European Union's (EU) competition enforcer. The world's biggest search engine was fined for blocking rivals in online shopping, Android smartphones and online advertising.

Despite the fines being paid, the European Commission has now launched another antitrust investigation into the US-based tech giant.

Reuters reports that the European Commission said it would investigate whether Google distorts competition. They will look at whether Google restricts third-party access to user data for advertising purposes on websites and apps while reserving such data for its own use.

"We are concerned that Google has made it harder for rival online advertising services to compete in the so-called ad tech stack." That was a comment in a statement from European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

"Fair competition is important," Vestager said. "Both for advertisers to reach consumers on publishers' sites, and for publishers to sell space to advertisers to generate revenues and funding for content."

On the recent antitrust investigation, Google said that thousands of European businesses use their advertising products to reach new customers and fund their websites every day.

"They choose them because they're competitive and effective. We will continue to engage constructively with the European Commission to answer their questions and demonstrate the benefits of our products to European businesses and consumer."

Image credit: NPR

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