Google is calling on Europe’s second-highest court to dismiss a billion-euro fine for abuse of power.

In 2019, Google received an antitrust fine of €1.5 billion. According to the European Commission, Google abused its power in the digital advertising market for ten years.

Google sells ads through AdSense, a platform for advertisers and buyers. According to the European Commission, Google made it difficult for providers to purchase services from organizations other than itself between 2006 and 2016. The European Commission alleges that Google violated several antitrust laws, resulting in a billion-euro fine.

Google is contesting the fine. From Monday 2 May to Wednesday 4 May, the tech giant will face the European Commission in the General Court. Google is calling on the court to dismiss the 1.5 billion euro fine.

Google’s defence

According to Google, the European Commission’s case is incorrect. The tech giant questions several points. Google alleges that the European Commission holds an inaccurate view of its market position. Furthermore, the European Commission claims that search ads and non-search ads do not compete, which is disputed by Google.

The discussion revolves around wording and definitions. That’s the norm for antitrust cases. One of the challenges for regulators is to prove that an organization has a large, risky market position. Google is challenging the fine by disputing evidence. If the tech giant manages to prove a miscalculation or faulty conclusion, the case is on shaky ground.

European antitrust laws are supposed to ensure that powerful organizations can’t create unfair market conditions. Smaller players and competitors must be given room to compete. Last year, Google lost an antitrust case worth €2.4 billion. The tech giant used Google Search to display its own price comparison service above the price comparison services of competitors.

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