Thursday March 21, 2019
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Google Maps adds traffic alerts feature to help commuters avoid congested routes

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Google has updated its maps by adding a new traffic alerts feature, which will give traffic status to the users while searching for directions on particular routes.

According to Techcrunch, this update actually brings with it explanations as to why various routes will be faster, alerts for a blockage or traffic jam up ahead and of course, alternate routes to each destination.

The users will also be informed about blockades or construction zones on the selected route.

Google maps will also tell the users about how long they will have to wait if they stay on a path where a traffic jam has popped up.

Techcrunch reported that the company also pulled data from Google Maps searches in the past to see what people would be getting up to this weekend. Top searches from last year include the beach, the cemetery, the gas station, restaurants, furniture stores, and ice cream shops.

Google also used last year’s data to determine the most popular getaway spots like San Francisco and New York.

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European Union Regulators Commission Slaps Google With An Antitrust Penalty of $1.68 Billion

"Today's decision is about how Google abused its dominance to stop websites using brokers other than the AdSense platform"

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European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager speaks during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels, March 20, 2019. VOA

European Union regulators have hit Google with a 1.49 billion euro ($1.68 billion) fine for abusing its dominant role in online advertising.

It’s the third time the commission has slapped Google with an antitrust penalty, following multibillion-dollar fines resulting from separate probes into two other parts of the Silicon Valley giant’s business.

The EU’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, announced the results of the long-running probe of Google’s AdSense advertising business at a news conference in Brussels on Wednesday.

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Google “prevented its rivals from having a chance to innovate and to compete in the market on their merits,” Vestager said. “Advertisers and website owners, they had less choice and likely faced higher prices that would be passed on to consumers.” VOA

“Today’s decision is about how Google abused its dominance to stop websites using brokers other than the AdSense platform,” Vestager said.

The commission found that Google and its parent company, Alphabet, breached EU antitrust rules by imposing restrictive clauses in contracts with websites that used AdSense, preventing Google rivals from placing their ads on these sites.

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Microsoft filed an EU antitrust complaint about the service in 2009 and the EU Commission formally launched its probe in 2016, although it said at the time that Google had already made some changes to allow affected customers more freedom to show competing ads. Pixabay

Google “prevented its rivals from having a chance to innovate and to compete in the market on their merits,” Vestager said. “Advertisers and website owners, they had less choice and likely faced higher prices that would be passed on to consumers.”

AdSense is an older Google product that lets web publishers such as bloggers place text ads on their websites, with the content of the ads based on results from search functions on their sites. Microsoft filed an EU antitrust complaint about the service in 2009 and the EU Commission formally launched its probe in 2016, although it said at the time that Google had already made some changes to allow affected customers more freedom to show competing ads.

Also Read: Intel and Cray Collaborate With U.S. Government, Aims for Nation’s Fastest Computer

Last year, Vestager hit the company with a record 4.34 billion euro ($5 billion) fine following an investigation into its Android operating system. In 2017, she slapped Google with a 2.42 billion euro fine in a case involving its online shopping search results. (VOA)