Google takes appeal against €2.4bn fine to European Court of Justice



The final hearing in Google's appeal against a huge €2.4bn fine imposed by the European Union was taking place on Friday at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

The Californian tech giant was sanction in 2017 over anti-competitive behaviour.

According to regulators, Google abused its market power at the expense of its rivals in search results for online shopping.

_Watch Euronews' interview with Financial Times EU correspondent Javier Espinoza on this case, in the video player above.

In 2017, the EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: "What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules. It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate."

She added: "Most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation."

Google will challenge two other European fines

Google's lawyer Thomas Graf told judges at the first day of the three-day hearing on Wednesday that Google was not compelled by competition laws to compromise its quality or to hold back innovation to accommodate its rivals.

The company also argued it did not stop a competitor such as Amazon from having a prime spot in the search results, showing that it is not halting competition.

There is no date as to when the European Court of Justice will rule on the case, but a ruling is not expected for at least two months.

The tech giant says it will also challenge two other EU fines, which were handed out in 2018 and 2019.

They also involve an alleged abuse of market power, and are respectively related to the promotion of its apps (€4.3bn) and to blocking adverts coming from rival companies search engines (€1.5bn)