Google in last-ditch effort to overturn $2.6 bn EU antitrust positive

Alphabet’s Google on Tuesday made a final ditch effort at Europe’s prime court docket to overturn a 2.42 billion euro ($2.6 billion) EU antitrust positive imposed for market abuse associated to its purchasing service, saying that regulators failed to point out that its practices have been anti-competitive.

Google LLC is seen at the Google Store Chelsea in Manhattan, New York City, U.S.(Reuters)
Google LLC is seen on the Google Store Chelsea in Manhattan, New York City, U.S.(Reuters)

Google turned to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) after the General Court in 2021 threw out its problem to the positive levied by EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager in 2017.

It was the primary of three penalties for anti-competitive practices which have price Google 8.25 billion euros in complete within the final decade.

Google lawyer Thomas Graf mentioned the European Commission had failed to point out that the corporate’s completely different remedy of rivals was abusive and that completely different remedy alone was not anti-competitive.

“Companies do not compete by treating competitors equally with themselves. They compete by treating them differently. The whole point of competition is for a company to differentiate itself from rivals. Not to align with rivals so that all are the same,” he advised the panel of 15 judges.

“Qualifying every different treatment, and in particular different treatment of first party and third party businesses, as abusive would undermine competition. It would impair the ability and incentives of companies to compete and innovate,” Graf mentioned.

Commission lawyer Fernando Castillo de la Torre dismissed Google’s arguments, saying the corporate had used its algorithms to unfairly favour its worth comparability purchasing service, in breach of EU antitrust legal guidelines.

“Google was entitled to apply algorithms that lower the visibility of certain results which were less relevant for a user query,” he mentioned.

“What Google was not entitled to do was to use its dominance in general search in order to extend its position over comparison shopping by promoting results of its own services, and embellishing them with attractive features and apply algorithms that are prone to pushing down the results of rivals and showing those results without attractive features,” he mentioned.

The CJEU will rule within the coming months.

This case and two others involving the Android cellular working system and AdSense promoting service, nonetheless pale as compared with the continuing EU antitrust case into Google’s profitable digital promoting enterprise the place regulators in June threaten to interrupt up the corporate.

The case is C-48/22 P Google and Alphabet v Commission.

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