Google launches last-ditch effort to overturn $2.6 bln EU antitrust fine

Google launches last-ditch effort to overturn $2.6 bln EU antitrust fine

Alphabet’s Google is making a final attempt to overturn a 2.42 billion euro ($2.6 billion) EU antitrust fine at Europe’s top court. The company argues that regulators failed to prove its practices were anti-competitive. Google is appealing to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) after its challenge to the fine was rejected by the General Court in 2021. This fine is one of three penalties totaling 8.25 billion euros that Google has faced in the last decade for anti-competitive behavior.

Google’s lawyer, Thomas Graf, argues that the European Commission did not demonstrate that the company’s differential treatment of rivals was abusive. He emphasizes that competition is about differentiation, not alignment with rivals. Graf states that considering every different treatment as abusive would undermine competition and hinder companies’ ability to compete and innovate.

Commission lawyer Fernando Castillo de la Torre dismisses Google’s arguments and accuses the company of unfairly favoring its price comparison shopping service using algorithms, which violates EU antitrust laws. He asserts that Google used its dominance in general search to extend its position in comparison shopping, promoting its own services and pushing down the results of rivals.

CJEU advocate general Juliane Kokott will provide her non-binding opinion on Jan. 11, and the CJEU will make its ruling in the coming months based on her recommendation. However, this case is overshadowed by the ongoing EU antitrust investigation into Google’s digital advertising business, where regulators have threatened to break up the company.

The case reference is C-48/22 P Google and Alphabet v Commission (Google Shopping). The article concludes with the disclosure that Foo Yun Chee, the reporter, is an experienced journalist who has covered high-profile mergers and has in-depth knowledge of European antitrust laws.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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