Skip to main content

Alphabet Stock Falls; EU Upholds $2.8B Antitrust Fine From 2017

Alphabet has another pending antitrust case in the EU from 2020. That could result in another $5 billion fine.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

Alphabet  (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report lost a round in a legal fight after the EU's General Court upheld a European Commission ruling against the company for antitrust infractions.

The Mountain View, Calif., search, cloud-services and advertising giant is facing a 2.42 billion euro ($2.8 billion) fine in the case.

EU regulators ruled in 2017 that Google had pushed its own shopping services on its platforms. The company contested the ruling, leading to a years-long review process.

"The General Court finds that, by favouring its own comparison shopping service on its general results pages through more favourable display and positioning, while relegating the results from competing comparison services in those pages by means of ranking algorithms, Google departed from competition on the merits," the court said in a Wednesday news release. 

The verdict can be appealed and taken to the EU's highest court. Alphabet told TheStreet that it would need to review the decision before deciding whether to appeal. 

"This judgement relates to a very specific set of facts and while we will review it closely, we made changes back in 2017 to comply with the European Commission's decision. Our approach has worked successfully for more than three years," an Alphabet spokesperson said. 

TheStreet Recommends

Also on Wednesday, the U.K. Supreme Court blocked a class-action lawsuit against the company. The lawsuit, which accused the company of secretly tracking millions of Apple  (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report iPhone users, could have cost Google $4.3 billion.

At the same time, Wednesday's ruling is the latest blow to Alphabet's operations in the European economic bloc. 

In September Google urged the EU General Court to scrap a 4.34 billion ($5 billion) fine. That penalty was levied after regulators said that since 2011 the company had been using its Android mobile operating system to hamper rivals and strengthen its own internet search business. 

It was the largest fine ever levied against the company, and Alphabet is asking the court to lower the fine or rescind it altogether. 

"The fine that was imposed, a staggering 4.34 billion euros, was not appropriate," Google's lawyer Genevra Forwood told the five-judge panel of the General Court in September, according to Reuters. 

"The problem is not the headline-grabbing fine per se. The problem is how the Commission reached that figure," she said.

Alphabet shares at last check were 1.1% lower around $2,947.