EU Court Upholds $2.8 Bln Antitrust Fine On Google

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The European Union's General Court on Wednesday ruled against Google, upholding a 2017 order to pay 2.42 billion euros or $2.8 billion fine for breaching antitrust rules.

In June 2017, the European 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. Google was accused of favouring its own comparison shopping service, a specialised search service, over competing comparison shopping services.

The Commission then imposed a pecuniary penalty on Google of 2.42 billion euros, of which 523.52 million euros jointly and severally with Alphabet, its parent company.

Google and Alphabet brought an action against the Commission's decision before the General Court.

In its latest judgment, the General Court dismissed for the most part the action brought by the two companies, and upheld the fine imposed by the Commission.

In its statement, the court said, "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 concluded that the amount of the pecuniary penalty imposed on Google must be confirmed.

The companies could bring an appeal against the decision before the higher Court of Justice within two months and ten days of notification of the decision.

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