An EU court has dismissed Google’s challenge to a €2.42 billion fine imposed on the search giant by the European Commission.
In 2017, the commission found that Google had abused its dominant position in the market for online general search services in 13 countries in the European Economic Area, by favouring its own comparison-shopping service over similar competing services.
Google and its parent company, Alphabet, subsequently brought a challenge to the decision before the General Court of the European Union.
In its judgment yesterday (10 November), the court dismissed the action brought by the two companies, and upheld the fine imposed by the commission.
The court said that it recognised the anti-competitive nature of the practices at the centre of the case, adding that the company had “departed from competition on the merits” by giving its own service more favourable display and positioning, while relegating the results from competing services.
“In reality, Google favours its own comparison-shopping service over competing services, rather than a better result over another result,” it added.
The court also backed the commission’s analysis that Google’s action would have harmful effects on competition, and rejected the tech giant’s argument that competition in the market for comparison-shopping services remained strong.