Back in June, the European Union wrapped up its seven-year antitrust investigation into Google Shopping with a $2.7 billion penalty. Unsurprisingly, Google challenged that fine today in a process that could ultimately take several years.
The crux of the antitrust lawsuit brought by Europe alleges that Google gave “prominent placement” in Search to its own Shopping comparison tool. Done at the expense of competing services, the European Commission found this to be an “illegal advantage” that “stifled competition.” One stat claims a 45-fold increase in promotion of Google’s own tool versus a 92% drop in traffic to competing services.
Google was fined €2.42 billion ($2.72 billon) and told to cease the practice of promoting its service, while demoting others. The European Commission is currently reviewing Google’s proposal to comply with the latter part of the order, which has a September 28th deadline.
Meanwhile, the record fine has been appealed to Europe’s General Court, though a final decision could take several years. Interestingly, Google has not yet asked for an interim order to suspend the decision.
Reuters notes that the Google appeal is buoyed by Intel recently winning a partial victory that saw the European Court of Justice ordering a re-examination of €1.06 billion fine against the chipmaker.
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