Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

Google has lost an appeal against a € 2.42 billion European antitrust ruling ruling that the technology giant abused its position to the detriment of opponents of its shopping service.

The Luxembourg General Court on Wednesday rejected Google’s legal challenge against the EU’s 2017 decision, which means a big win for competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s antitrust enforcement.

The ruling, which is likely to be appealed, is the first time a European court has ruled on an antitrust case against Google.

Google said the ruling was related to a “very specific set of facts” and that it made changes in 2017 to comply with the decision of the European Commission.

Brussels has fined Google after a seven-year investigation concluded that the company was abusing its dominance in search by giving “illegal advantage” to its own shopping service.

Vestager said at the time that Google “denied other companies the right to compete”. Google has since denied allegations that it violated EU law.

Shivaun Raff, co-founder of the now disbanded rival search engine Foundem, the original plaintiff in the EU’s Google search, welcomed the court’s decision. “While we welcome today’s ruling, it does not undo the significant consumer and anti-competitive harm caused by more than a decade of Google’s treacherous search engine manipulation practices,” she said.

Google is also challenging two more multi-billion euro fines for alleged anti-competitive behavior. It is accused that he exercised his dominance in the Android operating system and allegedly forced users to use its services over opponents, and was fined € 1.5 billion for to block competitors in the online advertising market.

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