Google challenges record European Union antitrust fine in court

Google is fighting its record $2.7 billion antitrust fine from the European Commission.

Alphabet Inc.'s Google on Monday launched an appeal against the European Union's 2.4 billion euro ($2.9 billion) antitrust fine that it was hit with in June.

Online shopping searches are one of Google's most important sources of sales growth as it takes on rivals as diverse as Facebook and Amazon.

Let's say you didn't want to buy a frock though, and were just searching for the term.

Comparison shopping services rely to a great extent on traffic to be competitive, meaning that Google's engineering of search results skewed the market unfairly.

"What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules", EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager at the time. "And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation".

The world's most popular Internet search engine, a unit of the USA firm Alphabet, launched its appeal two months after it was fined by the European Commission for abusing its dominance in Europe by giving prominent placement in searches to its comparison shopping service and demoting rival offerings. That's a good thing.

The company was expected to appeal the fine, which was the largest ever penalty issued by the regulator, after saying it had "respectfully disagreed" with the ruling.

Brussels accused Google of giving its own service too much priority in search results at the expense of other price comparison services, such as TripAdvisor and Expedia.


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