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September 12, 2017

Google Appeals $2.7B EU Anti-Trust Fine

Google is challenging the record-breaking $2.7-billion fine it was slapped with this June by the European Union.

The tech titan has filed an appeal with the EU’s General Court, which is based in Luxembourg, in the hopes it will disagree with the European Commission’s assessment that Google violated anti-trust laws with its comparison shopping service.

Although Google has refused to comment on the situation other than to confirm it is fighting the penalty, it is being reported by multiple sources that the company has not asked the Court of Justice to suspend the fine during the appeal process.

Google shoppingThe search firm submitted its newly revised plan for change at the end of August and EU officials seemed pleased with it. Now, however, Google is left with only a few weeks — until Sept. 28 — to halt all offending practices.

Google, the Commission has said, has abused its market dominance as a search engine by illegally suppressing competition, giving its own products and services prominence over that of its competitors in its comparison shopping service.

Google, in a statement following the ruling, said it “respectfully disagreed” with the Commission’s decision and indicated it would launch an appeal.

Google can expect a long, drawn out fight, however, if the appeal goes ahead.

Intel, which was hit with a $1.3 billion anti-trust fine by the EU back in 2009, is still fighting the penalty eight years later. Just last week the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that Intel’s case deserved another look and sent it back to a lower court for review.

Unlike Intel, Google has more than one service being examined by the EU watchdog.

The Commission is also investigating Google’s conduct with mobile operating systems, apps and services. The Commission’s investigation into Google’s Android OS rules will be to determine if the firm is hindering the development and market access of rival mobile operating systems, applications and services, disadvantaging consumers and developers.

It is not yet known if Google will face fines due to this probe, but it seems likely.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.