Google appeals record European Union fine over 'unfair' shopping searches

Google appeals record European Union fine over 'unfair' shopping searches

Google has appealed against a record €2.4bn antitrust fine imposed by the European Commission in June.

The world's most popular Internet search engine, a unit of the USA firm Alphabet, launched its appeal two months after it was fined by the European Commission for abusing its dominance in Europe by giving prominent placement in searches to its comparison shopping service and demoting rival offerings.

In an interview with AFP, Europe's anti-trust chief Margrethe Vestager last week said some of that proposal "pointed in the very right direction", but could only be judged once in effect. This appeal is not suspensive; Google will therefore have to pay the fine.

Last week, EU officials said a plan that Google recently filed to comply with European regulations appeared to be a step "in the right direction". The legal battle extends the already seven-year tussle with the European Union, including a failed effort to settle, that could affect crucial parts of Google's business model.

Brussels accused Google of giving its own service too much priority in search results at the expense of other price comparison services, such as TripAdvisor and Expedia.

The EU Court of Justice told a lower tribunal last Wednesday to re-examine U.S. chipmaker Intel's appeal against a 1.06 billion euro fine, dealing a rare setback to the Commission.

European regulators are also expected to levy further fines in separate cases over Google's Android smartphone software and its AdSense advertising business as early as next month.

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