Beijing time on the evening of September 19 news, Google today in Europe's highest court "Court of Justice of the European Union" (CJEU) made a final effort to overturn the $2.6 billion Google Shopping antitrust case.
Back in June 2017, the European Union announced a fine of 2.42 billion euros (about $2.6 billion) against Google Shopping. The reason is that Google favors its own service, Google Shopping, and downgrades competitors' services.
Google appealed the decision to the General Court, the EU's intermediate court. In November 2021, the General Court dismissed Google's appeal. Google then appealed to the Court of Justice of the European Union, the highest court.
At today's hearing at the European Court of Justice, Google lawyer Thomas Graf said the commission had failed to prove that Google's different treatment of competitors was abusive and that "different treatment" was not in itself anti-competitive.
Graf said: "Usually, if companies are competing with each other, they don't treat their competitors the same way they treat themselves. On the contrary, it must be treated differently. For a company, the meaning of competition is to distinguish itself from its competitors. Rather than allying with a competitor, everyone is the same."
"Identifying every different treatment, particularly for first - and third-party firms, as abusive is unjustified and undermines competition and innovation," Graf said.
Fernando Castillo de la Torre, a lawyer for the European Commission, rejected Google's argument, saying the company violated EU antitrust laws by using its algorithms to unfairly favor its own Shopping service, Google Shopping.
"Google can use its algorithms to reduce the visibility of results that are less relevant to a user's query," Fernando says. However, they have no right to use their dominant position in search to promote the results of their own service while lowering the results of their competitors."
The European Court of Justice is expected to make a final ruling on the case in the coming months.
In addition to Google Shopping, two other Google services, Google Android and Google AdSense advertising services, have also been hit by the EU antitrust fines, and Google has also filed appeals.
In the three antitrust cases, Google Shopping was fined 2.42 billion euros, Google AdSense advertising service was fined 1.49 billion euros, and Google Android was fined 4.34 billion euros.
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