Sep 11, 2017

Google begins appeal of mega EU antitrust fine


Google is beginning to appeal the massive $2.7 billion European Union fine it was hit with earlier this summer for abusing its search practices. In a form filed with the SEC, the tech giant says its parent company Alphabet, "will review the formal decision, but expects that it will accrue the fine in the second quarter of 2017."

In response to the fine in June, Google said it thinks the EU undervalues Google's shopping and search experience for consumers, arguing that its success doesn't mean it favors itself — "it's the result of hard work and constant innovation."

Why it matters: Google's response indicates that it expects to lose the appeal, but is fighting the fine because it believes its search practices are lawful. The fine, while much larger than expected, won't make that much of a dent in Google's bank account overall.

As Axios reported earlier this year, the bigger concern for Google is that the EU regulators' aggressive move will nudge U.S. counterparts to take a closer look at industry dynamics and whether the dominant tech firms use their growing troves of data and increasingly sophisticated algorithms to skew competition more broadly. Smaller firms like Yelp and have spent several years lobbying the EU to act, as U.S. regulators have been reluctant to take on tech giants — though they're now beginning to take a more critical look.

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