Google facing $2 billion anti-competitive lawsuit
Google is accused of manipulating search results to favor its own service
PriceRunner, a Swedish price comparison site, has filed a $2.4 billion lawsuit against Google, claiming the search engine manipulates search results to benefit its own commercial services.
In the lawsuit, filed on Monday, the Swedish company claims the tech giant has caused damage over “many years” and claimed the massive suit acts as “a fight for consumers who have suffered tremendously from Google’s infringement of the competition law for the past fourteen years and still today.”
“This is also a matter of survival for many European entrepreneurial companies and job opportunities within tech,” PriceRunner CEO Mikael Lindahl said about the lawsuit. The company, which covers thousands of stores in 25 different countries, is seeking revenue they claim has been lost in the UK since 2008 and in Denmark and Sweden since 2013.
Google’s business practices had already been under investigation by European regulators, with the European Commission ruling in 2017 that they had given preference to Google Shopping compared to others in their search results, violating antitrust laws. Google was ordered to pay 2.4 billion euros ($2.8 billion) as a result of the case – a result they have been fighting. The European Union’s General Court upheld the ruling in November, but Google has continued to appeal the decision.
Google claims they have made changes since the ruling that have worked “successfully.”
Frederic Abrard, program director for Google Shopping Ads, said in a Monday statement that PriceRunner may not be seeing the same “growth” as other companies since the changes as it “chose not to use Shopping ads on Google.”
Google also said on Monday that, since the 2017 ruling, their system is “subject to intensive monitoring by the EU Commission and two sets of outside experts.”