Google attacks EU for treating it like a “criminal”

Alphabet Inc.’s Google has accused the European Union of imposing a “very large percentage of quasi-criminal fines” allegedly interfering with advertising rivals on its website.

At a hearing in Brock’s general court on Monday, the investigative giant has many mistakes in its decision to impose a € 1.49 billion ($ 1.6 billion) fine in 2019 by the EU’s antitrust department. , Said it should be withdrawn. A three-day inquiry will be held until Wednesday

The case is the last of a trilogy of EU court battles over a case in which Marguerite Vestager, head of antitrust law, set the course for conquering Silicon Valley.

It focuses on Google’s role as an advertising broker for websites and covers exclusive contracts for online advertising using AdSense for Search products. In that decision, the EU accused the company of imposing some restrictions on contracts with third-party websites that prevented Google’s rivals from running search ads on these websites.

The European Commission’s analysis “contains a” characteristic error “that led to an erroneous evaluation of the clause, resulting in a serious error in the analysis,” said one of Google’s lawyers. Josh Holmes has appeared in court. ..

The trio of cases was the centerpiece of Vestager’s bid to crack down on the growing power of major tech companies. She has fined the Alphabet unit about $ 9.5 billion (€ 9 billion) and continues to investigate the company’s suspicious hanging for digital advertising.

“Google’s super-dominant position in general search” meant that it was always in a good position to operate in the European market for search advertising, said Commission lawyer Nicholas Kern in court. Told to.

“Google didn’t want to rely on the essential benefits of its service, but instead,” the most commercially important publishers usually ran for years, sometimes years. During the period, “he said. The disputed clause “clearly had the ability to limit competition, as Google was familiar with.”

EU and UK Antimonopoly Act Watchdog recently launched a new investigation into the potential for collaboration between Google and MetaPlatforms Inc. over how to operate an online display advertising service.

In November, Google took its first challenge in a pending appeal in a lawsuit focusing on how it favors its shopping services over its rivals, the issue that caused complaints against other tech giants. lost.

The EU Court of Justice, the second highest in the block, will rule Google’s appeal on September 14 to impose a record € 4.3 billion antitrust fine on Android operating systems.

The case is as follows: T-334 / 19, Google and Alphabetv. Commission.

© 2022 Bloomberg LP Google attacks EU for treating it like a “criminal”

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