Google has made a final attempt at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to overturn a €2.42 billion ($2.6 billion) antitrust fine imposed by the European Union (EU) for market abuse related to its shopping service. The EU had accused Google of favoring its own services in search results and unfairly promoting its price comparison shopping service. Google argues that the regulators failed to demonstrate that its practices were anti-competitive and that differential treatment of competitors is a normal part of competition. According to Google lawyer Thomas Graf, “Companies do not compete by treating competitors equally with themselves. They compete by treating them differently.”
The European Commission maintains that Google abused its dominance in general search to extend its position in the comparison shopping market. Commission lawyer Fernando Castillo de la Torre argues that Google’s algorithms unjustly favored its own results and pushed down the results of its rivals. He said, “What Google was not entitled to do was to use its dominance in general search in order to extend its position over comparison shopping…”
The CJEU will make its ruling in the coming months. This case is just one of three penalties Google has faced for anti-competitive practices, totaling €8.25 billion ($8.9 billion). However, the ongoing EU antitrust case into Google’s digital advertising business is of even greater significance, as regulators have threatened to break up the company.
– Foo Yun Chee, Reuters