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Google loses key EU antitrust battle

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The verdict centres on Google's shopping service and is one of three cases against the search engine giant currently moving through the EU's drawn-out appeals system. AFP

Google loses key EU antitrust battle

Google lost an appeal on November 10 against a €2.4 billion ($2.8-billion) fine imposed by the EU for abusing its search engine dominance – a big win for the bloc’s anti-trust tussle with the tech titan.

The ruling by the Luxembourg-based General Court confirmed the landmark decision taken by the European Commission in 2017.

The matter could be challenged again, however, if Google decides to turn to the EU’s highest court, the European Court of Justice, for a final say. The case centres on Google’s shopping service.

In its appeal, Google and its parent company Alphabet had argued the EU was “wrong on the law, the facts, and the economics” in the search engine case.

The court said that, by favouring its own Google Shopping service over rivals in its search result rankings and positioning, “Google departed from competition on the merits”.

It rejected Google’s argument that big online retailers had their own internet sites, saying that “those platforms are not on the same market” in which users go comparison shopping.

Also on November 10, Google fended off a separate legal case in Britain as the Supreme Court blocked a $4 billion class-action lawsuit accusing it of illegally tracking millions of iPhone users.

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