Google appeals against huge European Union anti-trust fine

Tuesday, 12 Sep, 2017

The commission said that since 2008, Google has systematically given prominent placement to its own comparison shopping service, while demoting rival comparison shopping services in its search results.

Last week, EU officials said a plan that Google recently filed to comply with European regulations appeared to be a step "in the right direction". Previously it had stated that it "respectfully" disagreed with the Commission's decision.

The firm was given 90 days to stop the "anti-competitive" practices, which ends on 28 September, or they could face a five per cent fine, amounting to their average daily global earnings from their parent company, Alphabet.

Lobby group FairSearch, whose members include Google rivals such as British shopping comparison site Foundem and U.S.travel site TripAdvisor, said the European Union decision was sound.

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Brussels accused Google of giving its own service too much priority in search results to the detriment of other price comparison services, such as TripAdvisor and Expedia.

The fine handed to Google was a significant hike on the previous record penalty of €1.06bn (£937m) dished out by the commission to United States microchip firm Intel in 2009.

The consideration of this appeal should take at least a year and a half, and given the complexity of the case, rather two years, has there shown to the Court of justice of the EU.

The EU is also expected to soon decide another case against Google over abuse of its dominance of internet search to impose its Android mobile operating system.