Google Protests $2.6Bn Antitrust Fine, Gets Mocked By An EU Judge
Google has spoken out against the EU antitrust judgement criticising the USD 2.6 billion fine imposed on it. The criticism from Google has prompted one of the five judges to impose the fine, Calm Mac Eochaidh, mock the company by asking “would you miss the 2.4 euros?”. Google has argued that the additional multipliers on the fine imposed by EU are unfair and excessive. The 2.4 billion euros fine is just one of the three penalties worth a total of 8.25 billion euros imposed on Google by EU over antitrust issues. Google’s argument has come on the third day of the three-day hearing at the General Court.
Google’s lawyer, Christopher Thomas, stated that the 2.4 billion euros fine, though ‘eye-catching’, is not valid considering the facts of the case. He cited the 5 per cent fine levied by EU on Intel in 2009 in a similar case and stated that the 5 per cent to 20 per cent multiplier used by EU for Google was unfair. He also stated that Google’s commitment to resolve the Commission’s concerns should also be given some regard before announcing the final judgement. He argued that Google still does not attract a fine as it has remained within the law and the 13 countries do not stand true to the size of the multiplier. Anthony Dawes, a lawyer for the Commission, however claimed that EU has only followed the rules while declaring the fine on Google.
EU is not the only one running after Google, the FTC has announced it is starting an investigation on all small acquisitions made by the company in the last decade. FTC has asked Google and other top American tech companies to disclose financial documents of all the transactions completed between 1st January 2010 and 31st December 2019.