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Google to Invest Around $140mn to Expand its Data Center in Chile

The complex runs on renewable energy coming from El Romero solar plant, located in northern Chile's Atacama Desert

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Google's new Search feature gives single result to certain queries. Pixabay

Google will invest around $140 million to expand its data center in Chile, the company’s only infrastructure of its kind in Latin America, which houses the information of millions of its users, the tech giant announced on Wednesday.

The complex, built in the Santiago suburb of Quilicura, is part of a group of 15 data centers that store and transmit information generated by applications like Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Waze and Uber, Efe reported.

During an event in the Chilean capital, attended by President Sebastian Piñera, Google announced that it will triple the data center’s capacity, hiring around 1,000 people for the construction.

“With this investment, we are preparing for the future. We seek to improve the data center with this development, because our users will demand more and more information,” said Edgardo Frias, country manager of Google Chile.

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A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

The company confirmed that only a handful of employees will have access to the server room – the highly-secured heart of the complex.

The expansion comes six years after Google announced the creation of the data center with an initial investment of $150 million.

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“This expansion will mean improving our users’ experience. We seek to make technology more accessible and easier to use,” Frias said.

The complex runs on renewable energy coming from El Romero solar plant, located in northern Chile’s Atacama Desert. (IANS)

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EU Fines Google $1.7 bn for Unfair Online Ad Rules

This meant that publishers were prohibited from placing any search adverts from competitors on their search results pages

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The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

The European Union’s antitrust regulators on Wednesday fined Google 1.49 billion euros ($1.7 billion) for abusing its dominance in the online search market by blocking rivals.

Google has abused its market dominance by imposing a number of restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party websites which prevented Google’s rivals from placing their search adverts on these websites, the European Commission (EC) said in a statement.

“Today the Commission has fined Google 1.49 billion euros for illegal misuse of its dominant position in the market for the brokering of online search adverts,” EC Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

It is the third EU fine for Google in just two years.

“Google has cemented its dominance in online search adverts and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party websites. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules,” Vestager said.

The Commission said the fine which is equivalent to 1.29 per cent of Google’s turnover in 2018 takes account of the duration and gravity of the infringement.

“The misconduct lasted over 10 years and denied other companies the possibility to compete on the merits and to innovate – and consumers the benefits of competition,” Vestager said.

Websites such as newspaper websites, blogs or travel sites aggregators often have a search function embedded.

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, California.

When a user searches using this search function, the website delivers both search results and search adverts, which appear alongside the search result.

Through AdSense for Search, Google provides these search adverts to owners of “publisher” websites.

Google is an intermediary, like an advertising broker, between advertisers and website owners that want to profit from the space around their search results pages.

Therefore, AdSense for Search works as an online search advertising intermediation platform.

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Google was by far the strongest player in online search advertising intermediation in the European Economic Area (EEA), with a market share above 70 per cent from 2006 to 2016.

Google’s provision of online search advertising intermediation services to the most commercially important publishers took place via agreements that were individually negotiated.

The Commission reviewed hundreds of such agreements in the course of its investigation and found that starting in 2006, Google included exclusivity clauses in its contracts.

This meant that publishers were prohibited from placing any search adverts from competitors on their search results pages, the European Commission said. (IANS)