Google challenges record European antitrust fine in court

12 September, 2017, 00:45 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • Google submits an appeal for its €2.4B fine by the EU

Margrethe Vestager, the EU's competition commissioner had said that Google's activity was "illegal under European Union antitrust rules".

The company has submitted plans on how it plans to stop favouring its shopping service and these are now being reviewed by Brussels.

Google is now set for a legal showdown in Brussels that could take years to resolve, and add further strain on already tense relations between the company and the EU.

The commission said that since 2008, Google has systematically given prominent placement to its own comparison shopping service, while demoting rival comparison shopping services in its search results.

The owner of the world's largest search engine said it filed its appeal on Monday at the EU's General Court, based in Luxembourg.

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At the time of the ruling, the tech giant had said it "respectfully" disagreed with the findings and would consider an appeal.

"The Commission's decision stands on firm ground, both legally and factually, and we expect the Commission to win on appeal", FairSearch lawyer Thomas Vinje said.

In an interview with AFP, Europe's anti-trust chief Margrethe Vestager last week said some of that proposal "pointed in the very right direction", but could only be judged once in effect. "It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate".

Google is fighting its record $2.7 billion antitrust fine from the European Commission.

While the Google case is not the same as that of Intel, the judgment has been welcomed by companies under European regulatory scrutiny because it raises the bar for the regulator to prove wrongdoing. The first relates to Android, its operating system on a smartphone, and the second AdSense, its advertising network.

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