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EU court upholds €2.4 billion fine issued against Google

The EU General Court has upheld a €2.4 billion fine that was imposed by Brussels on tech giant Google for abusing its search engine dominance.

The European Commission had accused Google of squeezing rival shopping services from its search engine as well as regularly giving preferential treatment to its own shopping service.

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When the fine was imposed back in 2017, it was the most significant fine ever issued by the EU, however, it was surpassed by a €4.3 billion fine against Google over Android.

Google and its parent company Alphabet had argued that the EU was “wrong on the law, the facts, and the economics” in the search engine case.

The court said it dismissed the action brought by the two companies and upheld the fine imposed by the Commission.

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It stated that “Google departed from competition on the merits” by favouring its own shopping services over rivals in its search results rankings and positioning.

Google has also fended off a legal case in Britain as the country’s highest court blocked a class-action lawsuit accusing it of tracking millions of iPhone users.

The current fine was issued by the Commission following a seven-year investigation in response to complaints from other price-comparison services that saw traffic plummet against Google shopping.

Although the company was ordered to fix the issues identified by the EU case, giving more prominence to rival shopping aggregators, as well as tourist and travel advice sites such as Tripadvisor and Yelp.

However, many rivals are dissatisfied with Google’s fixes, saying that they do nothing to guarantee fair competition in search results.

IMAGE – “Google Headquarters” (CC BY 2.0) by Affiliate

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