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EU Court Schedules Decision On Google’s Challenge To $2.8B Fine

Europe’s General Court in Luxembourg has set November 10 as the date it will rule on Google’s challenge to the €2.4 billion ($2.8 billion) antitrust fine levied by the European Union (EU), Reuters reported on Tuesday (July 20), citing sources. The ruling is the first of three cases, per the sources.

The European Commission (EC) levied the fine against Alphabet’s Google four years ago over allegations that the search engine promoted its own interests to gain eCommerce shoppers over competitors in Europe.

In the past 10 years, Google has already been fined a total of €8.25 billion ($9.7 billion) in EU antitrust penalties over the shopping allegations in addition to penalties from two other cases.

EU Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager said earlier this month that she believes the EU and the U.S. can come to an agreement to align antitrust enforcement. U.S. President Joe Biden said that the White House has turned a critical eye on Big Tech companies and other firms that have evaded competition by one means or another.

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa is working with Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota on a bill targeting Big Tech companies’ alleged discrimination against smaller tech competitors. Critics have weighed in that the measure could take a hit at products people enjoy using.

Google has recently been subjected to new EU mandates under the Digital Services Act (DSA) that are intended to reel in the search giant’s data sharing and its operation of digital marketplaces. The DSA could enforce regulations that call for big technology platforms to extend data access to smaller companies.

The EC launched a probe into Google last month over its digital advertising tactics and possible violations regarding antitrust violations. The investigation will look into how Google deals with competition and determine if data was kept in-house as opposed to being shared with third parties. France launched a similar investigation that hit Google with a $268 million fine.

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