Google sued for €2.1billion over EU antitrust breach

A Swedish company has sued Google for almost €2.1 billion in relation to a European Commission (EC) ruling in 2017 stating the search giant abused its market dominance in the sector by illegally promoting its own shopping comparison service.

Price comparison service PriceRunner stated that Google’s actions had caused harm to consumers and comparison shopping services. It also argued the Google has not complied with the EC’s decision and continues to abuse its dominant position.

“Since the violation is still ongoing the amount of damages increases every day, we expect the final damages amount of the lawsuit to be significantly higher,” PriceRunner added.

The lawsuit aims to make Google pay compensation for the profits PriceRunner claims to have lost in the UK since 2008, along with Sweden and Denmark since 2013.

In 2017, the EC slapped a €2.4 billion fine on Google after ruling it broke antitrust rules by systematically giving prominent placement to its own shopping comparison service, first launched in 2004, on its search engine.

The internet giant lost its first appeal against the fine in November 2021 and does not appear to have disclosed whether it will exercise its option to appeal the case one more time.

PriceRunner’s action is the latest in a series of lawsuits to have been brought against Google by online retailers.

For example, in 2019 Axel Springer’s price comparison shopping service Idealo sued Google for €500 million, while UK-based price comparison sites Foundem and Kelkoo had sued the company in 2012 and 2015, respectively.

Mikael Lindahl, CEO of PriceRunner, said the Swedish company sees the lawsuit “as a fight for consumers who have suffered tremendously from Google’s infringement of the competition law for the past 14 years and still today”.


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