Google laid out its defence against a sizeable fine issued by the European Commission (EC) in 2017 for breaching competition rules, as an appeal against the decision moves to the courts.
The EC fined Google €2.42 billion after ruling the company took advantage of its dominant position by promoting its own shopping service in search results. Google appealed the decision a few months later.
In a statement to Mobile World Live, a Google representative explained it believes the EC ruling was “wrong on the law, the facts, and the economics”.
They explained shopping advertisements “have always helped people find the products they are looking for quickly and easily, and helped merchants to reach potential customers”.
Google argued it had fulfilled competition obligations and granted rivals access to its products. It highlighted rival Amazon was not considered in the investigation, even though the EC recognised the online retailer provided a platform where customers can search for and compare products.
The company also claimed traffic for shopping comparison services declined in countries “where we didn’t engage in the allegedly abusive conduct”.
In a statement, the EC stood by its ruling and pledged to “defend its decision in court”.
Over the past three years, the EC handed down fines totalling €8.21 billion on Google, all for competition law breaches.
In 2018 the company was fined €4.3 billion for requiring smartphone vendors to include Google apps and placing them in prominent positions. This was followed by a €1.49 billion fine in 2019 for blocking adverts from rivals including Yahoo and Microsoft.
Reuters reported Google plans to appeal against the latter two fines.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back