Global technology and search giant Google has appealed against the record anti trust fine of €2.4 billion levied by the European Commission. The fine was imposed on the world’s most popular internet search engine by the European Union over allegations that the company promoted its own price comparison services over competitors.
The fine is considered to be the biggest antitrust penalty levied on a company in the history of the European Commission. The decision was reached in June this year, after a 7 year long investigation into the allegations regarding Google’s anti competitive search behavior. According to the press release, the company was to end this conduct within 90 days or risk another penalty of 5% of its parent company, Alphabet’s average daily worldwide earnings.
Google’s decision for an appeal comes with just a few weeks to spare before the designated 90 days come to an end. Many media reports suggest the appeal filed with the second highest judicial body in Europe, the Luxembourg based General Court, may not issue a ruling for several years. According to a spokesperson of the European court, Google did not seek to block the regulator’s request to change its search engine to treat comparison shopping rivals equally with its own service. The company did not ask for an interim order to suspend the European Union decision as well.
As per various media reports, the company sent its proposed fix for the problem to Margrethe Vestager, the EU Competition Commissioner, at the end of August but can only be judged once the solution is in effect. The search engine giant’s appeal was emboldened by Intel‘s legal victory last week when EU’s Court of Justice sent Intel’s $ 1.3 billion antitrust fine to a lower court. The decision opened the possibility that a fine could be lowered or erased and gave tech giants the confidence to more aggressively fight the EU on antitrust issues.
Google has confirmed the appeal but has declined to comment further whereas the commission said they will defend their decision in court.