Google appeals record European Union fine over 'unfair' shopping searches

Margrethe Vestager

AFP has reported Monday, that Google has launched an appeal against the largest antitrust fine ever given by the European Commission regulator in June, costing a staggering €2.4bn (£2bn or $2.8bn).

Google has filed a legal appeal against a record-breaking fine handed down by the European Commission this summer for anti-competitive behavior relating to the operation of its product search comparison service, now known as Google Shopping.

The Silicon Valley giant had responded to the fine at the time of its announcement by saying that it "respectfully" disagreed with the legal argument being pursued.

Google faces a further fine amounting to 5% of the average daily global earning of its parent company Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG) if it continues its practices after the deadline.

A Google spokeswoman declined to comment.

For its part, Google was found guilty of misusing its search engine to promote another service, "Google Shopping", previously known as Google Product Search and Froogle, causing traffic drops of up to 90 percent for its competitors.

The Luxembourg-based General Court, Europe's second-highest, is expected to take several years before ruling on the appeal.

The appeal lodged by Google will not help it to suspend the fine, however, it can put the money in a blocked account until the final decision. "And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation".

Google last week notified the European Union it would attempt to meet the demands of the European Union decision.

The EU Court of Justice (ECJ) ordered a lower tribunal last week to re-examine USA chipmaker Intel's appeal against a 1.06 billion euro fine, a rare setback for the Commission. These concern the contracts for its AdSense advertising service and the licensing of its Android mobile phone operating system.

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