Google tells court ‘staggering’ $5 bln EU antitrust fine flawed

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  • Google urges EU court to cancel or cut record fines
  • EU regulators say fines far below limits
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LUXEMBOURG, Sep 30 (Businesshala) – A 4.34 billion euro ($5 billion) EU antitrust fine was based on erroneous calculations, Alphabet (GOOGL.O) Google said on Thursday, asking Europe’s second-highest court to cancel it. or asked to reduce. There was no proper punishment.

Google was fined since 2011 for using its Android mobile operating system to thwart rivals and consolidate its dominance in general Internet search against anyone found guilty of breaching EU antitrust rules. The biggest penalty the company received was

Google’s lawyer, Genevra Forwood, told the General Court’s five-judge panel on the fourth day of a week-long hearing three years later, “the €4.34 billion fine that was imposed was not justified.” The European Commission approved the company.

“The problem is not headline-grabbing fines. The problem is how the commission reached that figure,” he said.

Forwood said Google’s actions had no anti-competitive intent, nor could it know that its conduct was an abuse based on EU case law and that there was no precedent for it.

“So it was wrong for the commission to impose any fines, let alone turning the dial to reach the biggest fine ever,” Forwood said.

It also took issue with the EU competition promoter in a separate case adding an 11% gravity factor to Google’s fines, compared to 5% for Intel (INTC.O) in 2009.

“Even if this Court considers that the penalty is justified, it would be appropriate to turn the dial right down,” she said.

However, European Commission lawyer Anthony Dawes said Google “simply cannot be ignorant of the anti-competitive behavior of its practices”.

“Reckless violations are no less serious than those committed intentionally,” Dawes said, adding that fines accounted for just 4.5% of Google’s revenue in 2017, compared to the 10% cap under EU rules. was allowed.

The decision is likely to come next year. Case T-604/18 Google v. European Commission

($1 = 1.1714 euros)

Reporting by Fu Yun Chi; Editing by Alexander Smith

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