On November 10, 2021, the General Court of the European Union dismissed an appeal by Google against a fine of 2.42 billion euros imposed on the digital giant by the European Commission for obstructing competition. This case is the first of three processes against the US online services giant carried out by the European Commissioner in charge of Competition, Margrethe Vestager.
Three procedures initiated by the European Commission
The US group was sanctioned in 2017 for having favored its Google Shopping price comparison over its competitors. The three processes initiated by the European Commission against the main subsidiary of the Alphabet group have earned it a total of 8,250 million euros in fines in the last ten years. Margrethe Vestager has also targeted Amazon, Apple, and Facebook, investigations that are still ongoing.
“The company abused its dominant position”
“The General Court essentially rejects Google’s appeal against the Commission’s decision finding that the company has abused its dominant position by favoring its own product comparer over competing product comparators,” it explains in a press release. . It considers, in particular, that “Google still does not demonstrate any efficiency gains linked to this practice that could offset its negative effects on competition.”
Google can now appeal to the Court of Justice of the EU, the highest court in the Union, but only on issues of law. For its part, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom blocked a class action lawsuit that accused Google of having violated current regulations on the protection of the personal data of several million iPhone users.
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