Google takes on EU in court over record antitrust fines

  • Google takes on EU in court over record antitrust fines

Google takes on EU in court over record antitrust fines

The EU based its fine on part of Google's revenue from 2016, then increased the basic penalty by "the highest multiplier" possible for a monopoly-type case and then increased that figure again, Google says in documents at the bloc's General Court, where it's slugging it out with the regulator over the 2017 levy.

Google is taking on European Union over antitrust fines at Europe's second-highest court in a landmark case that would determine how EU enforcers treat the USA tech giant over issues of abuse of market power.

We are witnessing yet another legal dispute between one of the big five United States tech giants and the European Commission. Until now, Google has been fined by the EC several times (in total, fines amount to $8.9 billion) and all those cases are related to alleged abuse of power - manipulating shopping results, using Android software to promote its own apps and blocking advertisements from rival search engines to appear on third-party websites.

The EU competition enforcer handed the fine to Google in 2017 for favoring its own price-comparison shopping service against those of smaller European rivals.

The case opens what will certainly be a long season of court dates for Google and the European Union, with two other fine decisions also under appeal at the Luxembourg-based court.

In the meantime, Margrethe Vestager in her new beefed-up role as Europe's digital chief will not be idle.

"The decision's case is, at its core, that Google should not have introduced these innovations, unless it gave competing CSSs (comparison shopping services) the same access", Graf said, laying out the arguments for the world's most popular internet search engine in a decade-long battle with the European Commission over its business practices.

Vestager, a former Danish finance minister, quickly became known for her relentless pursuit of U.S. tech giants that drew attention worldwide.

The appeal hearing is set to run for three days.

The success of Google's appeal might depend on whether it can prove that self-preferencing is not anti-competitive, and whether Amazon and eBay are to be seen as Google's competitors.

More than 30 travel firms - including TripAdvisor and Expedia - wrote to Vestager on Monday complaining that Google was unfairly trying to enter the vacation rental ad business.

The EU has already said it was looking into Google's similar push into job ads.