Google on Wednesday sought to overturn a €2.4 billion EU antitrust fine at the EU’s General Court.
The EU’s antitrust office, headed by competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, imposed the fine in 2017 after its investigation faulted Google’s practice in turning up shopping search results.
In 2010, the commission looked into accusations that Google was preventing rivals from showing up in its results in order to promote ads and its price comparison service Google Shopping.
Google has paid the fine and changed its behaviour, but said it will strongly condemn the decision in the court as unfair.
“We’re appealing the European Commission’s 2017 Google Shopping decision because it is wrong on the law, the facts, and the economics. Shopping ads have always helped people find the products they are looking for quickly and easily, and helped merchants to reach potential customers”, the company said in an email.
The appeal hearing is to last three days. A decision is not expected for a year. After that, the case can go to the EU’s highest court, the European Court of Justice. Google is expected to plead that it has the right to give advantage to its own services.
On Monday, more than 30 travel companies jointly complained to Vestager that Google was unfairly trying to enter the vacation rental ad business.