Google Rolls Out Search, Shopping Ad Changes In Europe

By Sam Schechner Features Dow Jones Newswires

Google has started overhauling millions of search results in Europe -- and neither the search giant nor its detractors are happy about it.

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The Alphabet Inc.-owned search engine on Wednesday said it has started allowing rival shopping-comparison services to bid for and resell advertising space at the very top of Google search results in Europe. The new ads appear alongside similar product ads from Google's own shopping-ad unit, which Google said is bidding independently in the same auctions.

The changes are part of the tech company's effort to comply with a European Union antitrust decision that fined the company 2.42 billion euros ($2.71 billion) for using its dominant search engine to favor its own shopping ads at the expense of competitors'--and ordered it to start treating itself the same as its competitors as of Thursday.

Google is appealing the decision, but is implementing its order to avoid noncompliance fines that can reach total 5% of its global daily revenue, or more than $12 million.

Laurence Norman contributed to this article.

Write to Sam Schechner at sam.schechner@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 27, 2017 12:20 ET (16:20 GMT)