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Google challenges record EU antitrust fine in court

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Alphabet unit Google appealed against a record 2.4-billion-euro ($2.9 billion) EU antitrust fine on Monday, its chances of success boosted by Intel’s partial victory last week against an EU sanction.

The move by the world’s most popular Internet search engine came two months after the European Commission fined Google for abusing its dominance in Europe to give prominent placement in searches to its own comparison shopping service, while demoting those of rivals.

The Luxembourg-based General Court, Europe’s second-highest, is expected to take years before ruling on the case. A court spokeswoman said Google has not asked for an interim order to suspend the EU decision.

The Commission, which ordered Google to stop the practice by Sept. 28, is now reviewing its proposal to comply with the EU decision.

The EU competition enforcer will defend its decision in court, a spokesman said.

The EU Court of Justice (ECJ) told a lower tribunal last Wednesday to re-examine U.S. chipmaker Intel’s appeal against a 1.06 billion euro fine, dealing a rare setback to the Commission.

While the Google case is not the same as that of Intel, the judgment has been welcomed by companies under EU scrutiny because it raises the bar for the regulator to prove wrongdoing.

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