Alphabet unit Google suffered a setback on Wednesday after Europe’s second-highest court dismissed its challenge to an EU antitrust ruling and EUR 2.42 billion (roughly Rs. 20,820 crore) fine in a major win for EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager.

Vestager sanctioned the world’s most popular internet search engine in 2017 for favouring its own price-comparison shopping service to give it an unfair advantage against smaller European rivals.

The shopping case was the first of a trio of decisions that have seen Google rack up a total of EUR 8.25 billion (roughly Rs. 70,890 crore) in EU antitrust fines in the last decade. Vestager subsequently took on Amazon, Apple, and Meta, where investigations are still ongoing.

“The General Court largely dismisses Google’s action against the decision of the Commission finding that Google abused its dominant position by favouring its own comparison shopping service over competing comparison shopping services,” the Court said.

Google can appeal to the EU Court of Justice (CJEU), Europe’s top court, on points of law.

The case is T-612/17 Google and Alphabet v Commission (Google Shopping).

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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