Google is now letting comparison shopping services pay to place ads at the top of search results, its way of dealing with an antitrust fine for demoting them in organic search results

Google has changed its Shopping ads after an EU antitrust ruling

What could be the world’s most expensive store redesign opens for business today: Google’s comparison shopping service. It offers online businesses new opportunities — and new costs too.

When the European Commission fined Google €2.42 billion (US$2.85 billion) back in June for giving an illegal advantage to its comparison shopping service, it gave the company 90 days to mend its ways — or face further penalty payments of up to 5 percent of parent company Alphabet’s average daily worldwide turnover.

That time is now up, and Google is introducing changes to the ways it displays comparison shopping offers in its search results in a bid to settle the antitrust case once and for all.

“We’re giving comparison shopping services the same opportunity to show shopping ads from merchants on Google’s Search results pages as we give to Google Shopping. Google Shopping will compete on equal terms and will operate as if it were a separate business, participating in the auction in the same way as everyone else,” a Google spokesman said Thursday.

The ads from comparison shopping services will appear in the same place above results for product searches as did ads directly from merchants. The main difference users will notice is that the foot of the ad will now identify the comparison shopping service via which the ad arrived, in addition to the merchant concerned. Read more Google has changed its Shopping ads after an EU antitrust ruling

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