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Google loses appeal against 2.4 bln-euro EU antitrust ruling

Brussels, Belgium | Xinhua | Google on Wednesday lost its appeal against a 2.4-billion-euro (2.76 billion U.S. dollars) fine imposed by the European Commission in 2017 after it had found the U.S.-based company had indeed broken antitrust laws.

The European Union’s (EU) General Court upheld the Commission’s decision that Google breached EU laws by using its search engine to promote its shopping comparison service, while at the same time demoting its rivals.

The Luxembourg-based court threw out the appeal filed by Google and its parent company, Alphabet, and upheld the fine. Google and Alphabet now have the option to appeal the decision yet again with the EU’s highest court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

“The General Court finds that, by favoring its own comparison shopping service on its general results pages through more favorable display and positioning, while relegating the results from competing comparison services in those pages by means of ranking algorithms, Google departed from competition on the merits,” the court said in a press release announcing its decision.

“The General Court concludes its analysis by finding that the amount of the pecuniary penalty imposed on Google must be confirmed.”

In June 2017, the Commission found that Google had abused its dominant position on the market for online general search services in 13 countries in the European Economic Area by favoring its own comparison shopping service, a specialized search service, over competing comparison shopping services.

“The Commission found that the results of product searches made using Google’s general search engine were positioned and displayed in a more eye-catching manner when the results came from Google’s own comparison shopping service than when they came from competing comparison shopping services,” the court’s release said.



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