EU court rejects Google’s appeal of $2.8-billion antitrust fine

Google logo
A woman walks past the Google logo at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai in 2018.
(Ng Han Guan / Associated Press)

A top European Union court Wednesday rejected Google’s appeal of a $2.8-billion fine from regulators who found that the tech giant abused its massive online reach by giving its own shopping recommendations an illegal advantage in its search results.

The European Commission, the 27-nation bloc’s executive arm, punished Google in 2017 for unfairly favoring its own shopping service over competitors. The European Court of Justice’s General Court ruled Wednesday that it “largely dismisses” Google’s appeal of that antitrust penalty and is upholding the fine.

“The General Court thus rules that, in reality, Google favors its own comparison shopping service over competing services, rather than a better result over another result,” it said in a press release.


Google said it made changes in 2017 to comply with the European Commission’s decision.

“Our approach has worked successfully for more than three years, generating billions of clicks for more than 700 comparison shopping services,” a Google statement said.

The fine was part of an effort by European regulators to curb the online giant’s clout on the Continent. It was followed by two other blockbuster antitrust penalties that the commission slapped on Google, totaling $9.5 billion, which the company also is appealing.

The commission’s investigation found that Google unfairly directed visitors to its comparison shopping service, Google Shopping, to the detriment of its rivals. EU regulators demanded that Google change the way it provides search results in Europe.