(Bloomberg) -- Google asked the European Union’s top court to strike down a 2.4 billion-euro ($2.7 billion) antitrust fine that bolstered regulators’ crackdown on big tech.
The U.S. tech giant said it filed a challenge at the EU Court of Justice “because we feel there are areas that require legal clarification” from the bloc’s top judges, according to an emailed statement.
The U.S. search giant wants the EU’s top court to overturn a November ruling that backed antitrust enforcers’ 2017 finding that Google breached competition rules. Judges supported the EU’s view that Google shouldn’t favor its own shopping service over rivals, an issue that’s triggered complaints against other tech firms.
The commission’s 2.4 billion euro penalty for Google, the biggest at the time, was the first in a trio of decisions that form the centerpiece of EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s bid to rein in the growing dominance of internet companies. She’s fined the Alphabet Inc. unit about $9.5 billion in total and is still probing the company’s suspected stranglehold over digital advertising.
Along with the fine, Google was ordered in 2017 to make changes to the way it displays shopping search results that might help rivals grab some of the valuable ad space on search pages. Smaller search services have complained the EU never pushed Google to go far enough to help them to attract sufficient visitors. EU officials argued that they can only create the conditions for firms to compete.
Google said it took its decision “after careful consideration,” and that “irrespective of the appeal, we continue to invest in our remedy, which has been working successfully for several years, and will continue to work constructively with the European Commission.”
Vestager said in November that regulators have pushed to restore competition to shopping ads by getting Google to cede slots to smaller rivals. Around 75% of offers from Google’s shopping ad slots now come from Google rivals, she said.
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