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EU court should uphold Google’s $2.7 billion antitrust fine, top adviser says

Google’s campus in Mountain View in California, seen in May 2023Melina Mara/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Brussels — Google’s €2.42 billion ($2.7 billion) antitrust fine in the European Union should be upheld by Europe’s top court, an adviser to the court said Thursday, dealing a blow to the world’s most popular internet search engine.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, handed down the fine to Google, owned by Alphabet (GOOGL), in 2017 for using its own price comparison shopping service to gain an unfair advantage over smaller European rivals.

Juliane Kokott, Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the European Union, said judges should confirm the fine.

“Google … was leveraging its dominant position on the market for general search services to favor its own comparison shopping service by favoring the display of its results,” she said.

Judges, who follow the majority of such non-binding recommendations, will rule in the coming months.

Google said it would review the opinion and wait for the court ruling.

Irrespective of its appeal, the company continues “to invest in our remedy, which has been working successfully for several years, and will continue to work constructively with the European Commission,” a spokesperson said.

EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager is scheduled to meet Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and other Big Tech leaders in the United States later on Thursday to discuss competition and digital issues.

Google has also challenged two other EU rulings, regarding its Android mobile operating system and AdSense advertising service.

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