Google’s challenge of $2.8 billion fine gets ruling on Nov. 10

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Europe’s second-top court will make a ruling on Google’s challenge against a 2.4-billion-euro ($2.8 billion) EU antitrust fine on November 10. The case will be the first of three, according to people familiar with the matter.

The European Commission issued the fine on the world’s biggest search engine in 2017 for anti-competitive behaviour. The Alphabet unit was found to favour its own price-comparison shopping service and gave it the advantage over smaller European rivals.

Google told the General Court (based in Luxembourg) at a hearing in 2020 that making innovative products was at the core of its business model, not helping rivals.

Billions in fines

Google denied favouring its own service during that hearing. The court and Google did not respond immediately to requests for comments or to confirm the Nov. 10 date. EU law says that the loser of the case can appeal to the EU Court of Justice (CJEU), a top court in the bloc. 

Over the years, Google’s fines tab has run high, to hit a total of 8.25 billion euros in EU antitrust fines related to the price comparison shopping case and two other cases over the past ten years.

The case number is T-612/17 Google and Alphabet v Commission. This news was first reported by the News Agency MLex.

A history of offences

Google was first hit with a $2.7 billion fine in 2017, $5 billion in 2018, and $1.7 billion in 2019, all related to anti-competitive behaviour over Search, shopping and Android.

Over this time, the company has rejected the EU’s findings and challenged them.

Some of what Google did include paying phone manufacturers to preinstall its Search app exclusively, made it mandatory to preinstall its search app as a way to access the Play Store and prevented forked versions of Android from running on those devices.