EU antitrust proceedings: Google moves to European Court of Justice
In November, the General Court of the European Union issued a ruling requiring Google to pay a fine of €2.4 billion for unlawful preferential treatment of its own price comparison service in its search engine. Google has now appealed and is taking the case to the European Court of Justice.
The ruling by the General Court of the European Union was preceded by the European Commission’s decision to impose the fine. The court had largely followed the Commission’s reasoning and ultimately upheld the penalty in its ruling. In turn, all of this was preceded by a seven-year antitrust investigation that had been launched after several price comparison services complained to the European Commission. In the course of its investigations, the Commission ultimately came to the conclusion that Google was systematically placing its own price comparison service higher in the search results than its competitors, thereby exploiting its dominant position. This in turn resulted in a weakening of competition.
A spokesperson for the company now stated on the record that Google had decided to appeal after careful consideration, as there were still areas that required further legal clarification by the European Court of Justice. It also said it would continue to work constructively with the European Commission.
Further proceedings against Google
Another case against Google is currently pending before the Court of Justice of the European Union. The starting point in this case is a 4.3 billion euro fine imposed on Google by the European Commission. The reason given for this fine is that Google has consolidated the dominant position of its Google search engine by forcing it to integrate it into its Android operating system, thereby putting the competition at a disadvantage. This prevented innovation and significantly weakened free competition.
A third case against Google is being heard on account of the exploitation of its dominant position in the field of online advertising. Here the European Commission imposed a fine of 1.5 billion euros.