Google has been fined €2.4 billion ($3.6 billion) by the European Union for breaking competition rules, despite its efforts to overturn a fine of that size.
Google’s €2.4 billion antitrust fine
The EU’s General Court in Luxembourg largely accepted the 2017 fine and the EU ruling that the firm had unlawfully sought to monopolize online shopping services.
The EU court’s decision on Wednesday is a major victory for Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s competition commissioner, who has had previous judgments against big tech firms reversed.
Since 2017, the European Union has fined Google a total of €8.5 billion in three separate competition cases, each of which it has disputed. Opponents claimed that Google’s legal loss might put it at risk of additional antitrust penalties.
“Today’s judgement delivers the clear message that Google’s conduct was unlawful and it provides the necessary legal clarity for the market,”
In 2017, Google was penalized in a seven-year inquiry into claims that it had utilized its search engine dominance to promote its own e-commerce service at the expense of others. After a complaint from Foundem, the British price comparison site, the investigation was triggered.
Shivaun Raff, the founder, and CEO of Foundem, said that Google’s refusal might expose the company to additional legal problems involving its employment and travel services.
“Today’s judgment provides the Commission with a firm basis to now enforce its June 2017 prohibition decision – not just for the beleaguered comparison shopping market directly addressed by the decision, but also for the travel, local, jobs and other vertical search markets for which this decision sets a precedent.”
-Shivaun Raff, the founder and CEO of Foundem
Google also made statements about the antitrust fine: “This claim was related to events that took place a decade ago and that we addressed at the time. People want to know that they are safe and secure online, which is why for years we’ve focused on building products and infrastructure that respect and protect people’s privacy.”