A decade-long saga goes to court — Google vs EU

EU antitrust regulators preparing to open an enquiry into the tech sector

EU antitrust regulators preparing to open an enquiry into the tech sector

It is seeking to overturn a €2.4-billion fine from 2017 for giving its own price-comparison shopping service an unfair advantage against competitors in search results.

"The trial will have repercussions for a wide variety of industries that depend on a fair classification of their services in Google Search", he said.

"If Google would have faced the commission's decision in 2008, Google would have had no other option but to abandon its innovative technologies and its improved designs", Thomas Graf, a lawyer for Google told the EU's, General Court.

We are witnessing yet another legal dispute between one of the big five USA tech giants and the European Commission.

However, the Commission's lawyer, Nicholas Khan, rejected the claims, saying that "Google's status as the colossus of the digital age" was unchallenged and "until recently unquestionable".

The EU commission will give testimony alongside complainants who accuse Google of having smothered their business. "No company should be allows to abuse such position to promote its own services at the detriment of competitors and consumers alike", said lawyer Thomas Hoppner who advises clients who are critical of Google.

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Vestager, a former Danish finance minister, quickly became known for her relentless pursuit of U.S. tech giants that drew attention worldwide.

The appeal hearing is to last three days with a decision not expected for a year. The case can then go to the EU's highest court, the European Court of Justice. This is four times more than its rival Microsoft's (MSFT.O) European Union fines of 2.2 billion euros.

"We're appealing the European Commission's 2017 Google Shopping decision because it is wrong on the law, the facts, and the economics", the company said in an email.

The key issue is whether self preferencing is anti-competitive and whether Amazon (AMZN.O) and eBay (EBAY.O) should be counted as Google's rivals.

The document also said competition enforcers were considering regulating the behaviour of dominant companies as a preventive measure, a move that would address concerns that regulatory actions sometimes come too late to fix the harm suffered by smaller rivals.

More than 30 travel firms - including TripAdvisor and Expedia - wrote to Vestager on Monday complaining that Google was unfairly trying to enter the vacation rental ad business.

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