Google lost its appeal of a 2.4 billion-euro ($2.8 billion) antitrust fine for allegedly thwarting smaller shopping search services, in the first of a trilogy of European Union court fights over cases that set the course for the EU’s campaign to rein in Silicon Valley.
The U.S. search giant breached competition rules and deserved the penalty doled out by the European Commission in 2017, the EU General Court in Luxembourg ruled on Wednesday.
While the regulator was largely vindicated in the ruling, judges said that regulators had failed to prove that Google had harmed the market for general search, striking out the EU’s finding of a breach. That leaves the decision solely targeting the shopping-search service.
The commission’s 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 big tech companies….