Google launches new appeal to overturn $2.8 billion fine in EU’s highest court

Jan 20 (Reuters) – Google is filing an appeal in the European Union’s top court against an earlier decision to uphold a $2.8 billion antitrust fine, a spokesman for the Alphabet unit said on Thursday evening. (GOOGL.O), the company’s second bid to vacate the sentence.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager fined the world’s most popular internet search engine in 2017 for using its own comparison shopping service to gain an unfair advantage over smaller European rivals.

The case was the first of three rulings that have seen Google rack up €8.25 billion in EU antitrust fines over the past decade. Read more

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In November, the EU General Court largely dismissed Google’s challenge to the fine, saying the European Commission had correctly concluded that the company’s practices harmed competition.

The Luxembourg judges rejected the company’s argument that the presence of trading platforms showed that there was strong competition.

“After careful consideration, we have decided to appeal the Tribunal’s decision as we believe that certain areas require legal clarification from the European Court of Justice,” the Google spokesperson said in a statement.

“Regardless of the appeal, we continue to invest in our appeal, which has been operating successfully for several years, and we will continue to work constructively with the European Commission.”

Court support in November could also strengthen Vestager’s hand in his investigations of Amazon, Apple (AAPL.O) and Facebook (FB.O).

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Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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