During a three-day hearing at the European Union’s “Comprehensive Court” of the European Union’s intermediate court, Google challenged the European Commission’s decision in 2017 to issue a $2.6 billion fine, saying it was a threat to internet innovation. The EU’s argument is that Google is suspected of curbing smaller shopping search competitors.
Thomas Graf, Google’s acting lawyer, told the court: “If it faced a European Commission penalty ruling in 2008, Google might have no choice but to abandon its efforts to innovate and improve its design.” “
The court battle over the EU’s 2017 ruling has also paved the way for other appeals by Google, which has been fined by the EU for unfairly bundling its apps with Android and blocking advertising rivals. The company also faces early antitrust scrutiny in areas such as local search, employment and holiday rental services.
The judge is expected to rule in the coming months, marking the end of another chapter in the nearly decade-long antitrust battle between Google and the European Commission. The European Commission has accused Google of using its huge market power to deter rivals when searching for products online.
The European Commission’s disciplinary drive against Google has been tortuous. The latter has argued that many small comparison services do not rank high lybecause they provide poor quality of service.
At one point, The Orn regulator’s tough stance was tempered, hoping that Google would change its search display to end the investigation without a fine. But it sparked outrage among European publishers and politicians, until Margaret Vestager, the EU’s antitrust commissioner, took office in 2014 and his attitude began to reverse.