Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

Google appeals against record €2.4bn European Union antitrust fine

Google appeals against record €2.4bn European Union antitrust fine

The European Commission fined the company €2.4 billion (US$2.9 billion) to punish it for abusing its dominant position in the search engine market to illegally promote its comparison shopping service.

European Union judges are the ultimate arbiter of European Union antitrust regulators who've often received support for their attempts to curb large companies' behavior.

It took Intel the best part of eight years to obtain Wednesday's judgement, and the case isn't over yet, so Google is likely have a long legal battle ahead of it.

The EU's competition commission had ruled that Google abused its dominant position to favor its own shopping comparison service in internet searches, ordering the company to stop the practice by September 28. This appeal is not suspensive; Google will therefore have to pay the fine.

A spokesman for Google confirmed the company had filed the appeal but said the company had no further comment to make.

Spokesperson for the commission said it will defend its decision in court.

Brussels accuses Google of giving its own service too much priority in search results to the detriment of other price comparison services, such as TripAdvisor and Expedia.

The EU Court of Justice (ECJ) ordered a lower tribunal last week to re-examine US chipmaker Intel's appeal against a 1.06 billion euro fine, a rare setback for the Commission.

The verdict came less than a year after Vestager shocked Washington and the world with an order that iPhone manufacturer Apple repay 13 billion euros in back taxes in Ireland - against Dublin's wishes.

Regulators are also expected to levy fines in separate investigations into Google's Android mobile-phone software - possibly as soon as next month - and the AdSense advertising service.

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