LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – Google on Friday to the attack, which it is, however, an eye-catching 2.4 billion euros ($2.6 billion) EU antitrust fine, for a judge to have a rich company, and can miss the relatively ample amount of money.
The sparring highlights the battle ahead for the world’s most popular search engines on the web with two other challenges against the EU’s anti-trust enforcers to have their voice heard in the next few months.
The Alphabet of unity argument has been made that the additional amount tacked on to the fines imposed by the European Commission in 2017 and to deter anti-competitive behaviour, which is known as a deterrent multiplier, and a different multiplier is a factor to be exaggerated and without merit.
Google’s challenge came on the final day of a three-day hearing at the general Court, Europe’s second-highest ranking, as it tries to tip over on the first of the trio of the EU anti-trust fines of a total of 8.25 billion euros.
“About 2.4 billion euros, is one of the eye-catching amount, it may attract the headlines, but it is not justified by the facts of this case,” by Christopher paul, to Google’s lawyer, told the justices.
He said that there was not even a penalty in the first place, as the existing case-law and it turned out that Google’s conduct was anti-competitive, while the market in the 13 countries in which the infringement was committed, did not justify the size of the multiplier.
The Commission proposes to use a gravity multiplier that can be between 5% and 20%, Google’s by 2016, the sales in the 13 countries in the EU, higher than the 5% that will be imposed on Intel in 2009. The laws of the EU regulators and supervisors to apply a multiplier to a maximum of 30%.
The EU’s antitrust regulators, also need to take into account the efforts made by the company in order to settle the matter with the concessions, if they are changed in 2015, it is penalized for Google, said Thomas.
“The credit has to be given in to Google’s good faith in attempting to find a solution to the concerns of the Commission and three of its liabilities, offers in, and in the nearly 9 months of engineering effort was spent on the construction of a solution to this problem is provisionally agreed by the Commission,” he said.
The irish judge Colm Mac Eochaidh, one of the panel of five judges hearing the case, and that had been the day before, said the company has clearly committed an offence, ask whether the size of the fine is notable, as Google claimed.
“You’re one of the richest companies in the world,” he said, citing the example of a person with a 120 and a fine of € 2.4 € for a stuff.
It seems that if you miss the 2, 4 euro?”
Mac Eochaidh also be amazed by the power of the court to increase or to revise the penalties, and a mind that is Google’s attempt to squash it by saying that the Commission had not been asked by the courts to do so.
The district court, in 2007, it broke new ground in the up-grading of a cartel fine imposed by the Commission, for the first time, to the left of Germany’s BASF AG <BASF.DE with a higher penalty.
– EU managers only have to stick to the rules for the calculation of the amount of the fine, the Commission’s attorney, Anthony Dawes said.
FILE (PHOTO: File photo a Google logo is seen at an event in Paris, France-May 16, 2019 at the latest. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo
“The Commission has closely followed the methodology in the guidelines. Google’s behavior has constituted a well-established form of abuse,” he said.
A decision is expected next year, and may be the subject of an appeal to the european Court of Justice, Europe’s highest.
In the case of the T-612/17, Google, and the letters v, european Commission.
Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Louise Heavens