Google appeals record $2.7 billion European Union antitrust fine

Google appeals record $2.7 billion European Union antitrust fine

In June, the European Union official in charge of competition policy, commissioner Margrethe Vestager, told reporters that Google, a unit of USA parent company Alphabet, had artificially and illegally promoted its own price comparison service in searches, denied both its consumers real choice and rival firms the ability to compete on a level playing field.

Google confirmed the appeal but declined CNET's request for further comment.

The Silicon Valley giant had responded to the fine at the time of its announcement by saying that it "respectfully" disagreed with the legal argument being pursued.

Initially Google was given 90 days to comply or face further fines.




The move sets up a court battle between Brussels and the internet giant that could take years to resolve and make already tense relations between Europe and the USA tech giant even more fraught.

At the end of last month Google did take the first steps to comply with the Commission's antitrust order against Google Shopping, submitting details of how it intends to amend the price comparison service - though these proposals have not been made public. "It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate".

The appeal lodged by Google will not help it to suspend the fine, however, it can put the money in a blocked account until the final decision.

The fine handed to Google was a significant hike on the previous record penalty of €1.06bn (£937m) dished out by the commission to USA microchip firm Intel in 2009. These concern the contracts for its AdSense advertising service and the licensing of its Android mobile phone operating system.

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