EU antitrust lawsuit: Google requests court to scrap $1.6 billion fine

Google (GOOGL.O), an Alphabet affiliate, asked Europe’s second-highest court on Monday to overturn a punishment of 1.49 billion euros ($1.6 billion) issued by EU antitrust regulators three years ago for obstructing rivals in online search advertising.

The case is one of three involving the world’s most popular internet search engine that has resulted in a total of 8.25 billion euros in European Union antitrust fines.

In a 2019 judgement, the European Commission stated that Google had exploited its position by preventing websites from utilizing brokers other than its AdSense platform to provide search advertisements. The illicit actions, according to the Commission, occurred between 2006 and 2016.

Google then appealed the EU’s decision to the General Court in Luxembourg. During a three-day hearing beginning Monday, the firm will present its case.

Google claimed in a court document that the EU competition enforcer’s assessment of Google’s dominance and the Commission’s determination that search ads and non-search ads do not compete were incorrect.

It also slammed the Commission for calling the company’s exclusivity, premium placement, and minimum Google ad restrictions abusive.

Last year, Google was defeated in court for the use of its own price comparison shopping tool to gain an unfair edge over smaller European competitors, losing a 2.42-billion-euro antitrust ruling.

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