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Google is losing antitrust battle with EU as court upholds 2017 order

Google is losing antitrust battle with EU as court upholds 2017 order

November 11, 2021: -The EU’s General Court ruled Wednesday that the European Commission was correct in fining Google for an antirust breach in what represents a landmark moment for EU policy that could impact the business models of major tech players.

The ruling comes after the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, said that Google had favored its comparison shopping services and fined the company 2.42 billion euros for breaching antitrust rules. Alphabet-unit Google contested the claims using the EU’s second-highest court.

“The General Court finds that, by favoring its comparison shopping service on its general results pages through more favorable display and positioning, while relegating the results from competing for comparison services in those pages using ranking algorithms, Google departed from competition on the merits” the court said in a press release Wednesday.

In addition, the court also confirmed the fine at 2.42 billion euros. “The General Court concludes its analysis by finding that the amount of the pecuniary penalty imposed on Google must be confirmed,” the court added.

On Wednesday verdict can be appealed and taken to the EU’s highest court.

A spokesperson for the European Commission said via email, “Today’s judgment delivers the clear message that Google’s conduct was unlawful and it provides the necessary legal clarity for the market.”

The spokesperson added: “The Commission will continue to use all tools at its disposal to address the role of big digital platforms on which businesses and users depend to, respectively, access end-users and access digital services.”

Following the ruling, a Google spokesperson told CNBC via email: “Shopping ads have always helped people find the products they are looking for quickly and easily, and helped merchants to reach potential customers.”

“This judgment relates to a particular set of facts, and while we will review it closely, we made changes back in 2017 to comply with the European Commission’s decision.”

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Google is losing antitrust battle with EU as court upholds 2017 order