Google Appeals £2.2bn EU Antitrust Fine For Search Abuse

Posted September 12, 2017

In June, the Silicon Valley giant was found to have given its own online shopping service an illegal advantage in internet search results across 13 countries within the European Economic Area - including the UK.

The EU flag is seen with Google logo.

The Luxembourg-based General Court, Europe's second-highest, is expected to take several years before ruling on the appeal.

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.

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.

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Google confirmed the appeal to Business Insider but declined to comment further or give any detail.

This had raised hopes that Google may be choosing a more conciliatory road with the European Union, but the appeal risks embittering matters still further. This appeal is not suspensive; Google will therefore have to pay the fine.

The €2.4bn fine against Google for illegally exploiting its 90pc search market share led to its parent company Alphabet's profits falling by 30pc in July.

The EU Court of Justice told a lower tribunal last Wednesday to re-examine United States chipmaker Intel's appeal against a 1.06 billion euro fine, dealing a rare setback to the Commission. That order came with a 2.4 billion euro ($2.9 billion) fine, more than double the 1.06 billion euros for Intel.