European Union competition regulators have today handed down a €1.49 billion fine to Alphabet's Google for blocking rival online search advertisers.

This marks the company's third penalty in two years.

Last year, the EU competition enforcer imposed a record €4.34 billion fine on Google for using its popular Android mobile operating system to block rivals. 

This followed a €2.42 billion fine in 2017 for hindering rivals of shopping comparison websites.

"Today the Commission has fined Google €1.49 billion for illegal misuse of its dominant position in the market for the brokering of online search adverts," EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

The Commissioner said that 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". 

"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," she added.

But Commissioner Vestager today gave a cautious welcome to Google's attempts to boost rivals and offer Android users a choice of browser and search apps in order to comply with her orders in two separate cases.

"We see positive developments both in the shopping and Android case," Vestager told a news conference.

In a sign that Google's regulatory troubles may not beover, Vestager said she was still looking into its actions in search market for jobs and local search following complaints.