European Union court upholds €2.4 billion antitrust fine against Google

The European Union second highest court ruled against Google’s antitrust appeal, which will cost the tech giant €2.4 billion ($2.8 billion).

In 2017, the European Commissioner ruled that Google had violated antitrust laws to boost shopping on its own platform. The case has gone through the courts, making its way most, recently, to the second-highest EU courts. The court ruled that the Commission was correct in saying that Google’s practices were harmful to competition. It also dismissed Google’s claim that there was in fact strong competition because merchant platforms were present.

The court rationalized the decision saying, “The General Court largely dismisses Google’s action against the decision of the Commission finding that Google abused its dominant position by favouring its own comparison shopping service over competing comparison shopping services.”  The court also made note of the “serious nature of the infringement and that “the conduct in question was adopted intentionally, not negligently.”’

There have been a series of trials in the EU regarding antitrust laws. This single fine adds to a list of fines Google has accumulated, which will cost the company €8.25 spanning across the last decade. Google is not alone in being targeted for unethical practices. Amazon, Apple, and Facebook are all in ongoing investigations regarding similar offenses in the EU.

It is unclear if Google will appeal to the EU Court of Justice (CJEU), which is the highest court in the EU. The company is eligible to appeal the case on points of law. Spokespeople said the company had complied with the Commission and would review the judgement 




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