Google (GOOGL.O) will on Wednesday seek to overturn the first of three hefty European Union antitrust fines at Europe's second-highest court in a landmark case that could determine how EU enforcers take on US tech giants for abuse of market power, Reuters reported.
EU antitrust regulators plan to open an investigation into the technology industry, according to a European Commission document seen by Reuters, a sign of more regulatory problems ahead for Google, Facebook, Amazon and other online groups.
"Competition law does not require Google to hold back innovation or compromise its quality to accommodate rivals".
Two further decisions for different issues since then have lifted the total penalty to 8.25 billion euros, four times more than Microsoft's (MSFT) EU fines of 2.2 billion euros. Google search provides "an immensely powerful lever to direct users' attention to any specific search market where Google might wish to develop a presence".
The EU and Google have been locked in battle since 2010 when the commission first looked into accusations that the search engine was squeezing rivals from results in order to promote ads and Google Shopping, its price comparison service.
The company did not favor its own service but competed on its merits, he said.
On top of that, Google was ordered to pay a record-breaking €2.4 billion in antitrust fines, which it will today attempt to overturn. "Conceptually, there is nothing esoteric about this case", he told the judges.
But this argument was rejected by Commission lawyer Nicholas Khan, who reportedly said this was a clear case of a company using its dominance to give itself an advantage in other markets.
Today, Google had harsher words for the European Commission.
It also represented the biggest regulatory setback yet for Google.
European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who has taken a tough line against Google, Apple and other dominant tech companies, is due to present the paper next month. The Alphabet Inc. unit earlier on Wednesday argued that the European Union went too far with a 2017 European Union fine, then a record 2.4 billion euros ($2.6 billion), and an order to change how it shows shopping search results from rivals.
"It is as if Google has applied a ranking algorithm to the decision and decided that parts of it just aren't relevant", Khan said.