Tech giant lodges appeal against massive fine by European Commission.
Back in the middle of summer, the regulator ruled that Google’s positioning its own shopping comparison service at the top of Google search results, ahead of competitors, such as Amazon, was an abuse of power. The €2.4bn fine was, and still is, the single largest penalty ever issued by European Union regulators. The commission has also said the US search giant could face more fines if it continues its current practices.
Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet, and the world’s most popular internet search engine, has now launched its appeal against what the EU describe as an “old school” form of illegality.
Largest EU fine, like, ever?
Oh yes. Google stands accused of distorting the market, and not playing by the rules.
According to the European Union’s official press statement on the Google fine, back in June. “What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules,” declared Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s Competition Commissioner. “It has denied other companies the chance to compete on their merits and to innovate, and most importantly it has denied European consumers the benefits of competition, genuine choice and innovation.”
The commission, which gave Google, until the 28th September of this month to stop their current practice is now reviewing the company’s proposal on how it could comply with the EU decision. In the meantime, Google is keeping its options open and also appealing the decision.
Seven year investigation. A brief guide.
The European Commission has been investigating Google Shopping since late 2010. The original probe was spurred on by complaints, including several from Microsoft, who have previously fallen foul of EU regulators in relation to Monopolizing on more than one occasion.
Since launching their appeal against the fine, Google has declined to comment in any official capacity. It is likely that the appeal and subsequent arbitration by both sides will take several years to conclude.
Back in June, however, Google responded to the ruling in predictable fashion, with a sort of ‘Who? Us?’ response: “When you shop online, you want to find the products you’re looking for quickly and easily,” said a Google spokesperson. “That’s why Google shows shopping ads, connecting our users with thousands of advertisers, large and small, in ways that are useful for both….”[As a result] we respectfully disagree with the conclusions announced today. We will review the Commission’s decision in detail as we consider an appeal, and we look forward to continuing to make our case.”
A spokesman for the commission said simply that they “will defend its decision in court.”