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Google Loses Antitrust Legal Battle, $2.8 Billion Fine Upheld

The European Union (EU) General Court upheld a ruling Wednesday that Google violated EU antitrust law by giving preference to its own shopping service in search results.

The European Commission, the EU’s top regulator, ruled in 2017 that Google’s practice of prioritizing its online marketplace in its search results was anti-competitive, slapping the tech giant with a roughly $2.8 billion fine. Google appealed the decision, but the EU General Court, the second-highest court in the continent, upheld the ruling Wednesday.

Google can still appeal the ruling to Europe’s highest court, the European Court of Justice, according to the General Court’s decision.

Google did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment. A Google spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal that it was too early to tell whether or not the tech giant would appeal the decision as the “judgment relates to a very specific set of facts,” and the company first had to “review it closely.”

The case concerned Google’s e-commerce business that the tech giant promoted within its search results.

The European Commission previously found that “Google had abused its dominant position on the market for online general search services in 13 countries in the European Economic Area, by favoring its own comparison shopping service, a specialized search service, over competing for comparison shopping services.”

The General Court upheld the majority of the ruling and the resulting $2.8 billion fine, but it found that Google had not diminished competition between search engines, only other e-commerce businesses.

The court’s decision is the latest in a series of skirmishes between the EU and Google, as well as other major tech companies. In September, Google argued in court against a separate, $5 billion fine levied against the tech giant for monopolizing the Android app market.

The company was recently slapped with a $590 million fine in July for not paying publishers when it displays their content in its search results.

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