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Google tells court ‘staggering’ $5 bln EU antitrust fine flawed

  • Google urges EU court docket to scrap or lower document nice
  • EU regulators say nice is considerably under cap

LUXEMBOURG, Sept 30 (Reuters) – A 4.34 billion euro ($5 billion) European Union antitrust nice was based mostly on flawed calculations, Alphabet’s Google stated on Thursday, urging Europe’s second-highest court docket to scrap or scale back what it stated was not an applicable penalty.

Google was fined for utilizing its Android cell working system to thwart rivals and cement its dominance basically web search from 2011, within the largest penalty meted out to any firm discovered responsible of breaching EU antitrust guidelines.

“The nice that was imposed, a staggering 4.34 billion euros, was not applicable,” Google’s lawyer Genevra Forwood instructed the five-judge panel of the Basic Court docket on the fourth day of a week-long listening to, which is going down three years after the European Fee sanctioned the corporate.

“The issue isn’t the headline-grabbing nice per se. The issue is how the Fee reached that determine,” she stated.

Forwood stated there was no anti-competitive intent in Google’s actions nor may it have identified that its conduct was an abuse based mostly on EU case legislation and there was no precedent for it.

“So it was mistaken for the Fee to impose any nice in any respect, not to mention flip up the dials to succeed in its greatest nice ever,” Forwood stated.

She additionally took difficulty with the EU competitors enforcer including a 11% gravity issue to Google’s nice in contrast with 5% for Intel in 2009 in a separate case.

“Even when this Court docket considers {that a} nice is acceptable, it will solely be correct to show the dials proper down,” she stated.

Nonetheless, the European Fee’s lawyer Anthony Dawes stated Google “merely couldn’t be unaware of the anti-competitive behaviour of its practices”.

“Infringements dedicated negligently are not any much less severe than these dedicated deliberately,” Dawes stated, including that the nice was simply 4.5% of Google’s income in 2017 versus a ten% cap allowed underneath EU guidelines.

A verdict is more likely to come subsequent yr. The case is T-604/18 Google vs European Fee

($1 = 1.1714 euros)

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Modifying by Alexander Smith

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