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谷歌与欧盟就创纪录的反垄断罚款对簿公堂

2020-2-12 14:48

 

据路透社报道,谷歌正寻求推翻欧盟第二最高法院对其开出的三笔巨额反垄断罚单中的第一笔,这是一起具有里程碑意义的案件。


在周三开始的为期三天的普通法庭听证会上,该公司将提出反对欧盟委员会(European Commission)开出的24亿欧元(合26亿美元)罚单的理由。


欧盟监管机构表示,这一处罚是由于谷歌偏向于自己的比价购物服务,而不利于规模较小的欧洲竞争对手。


欧盟在三起独立案件中对谷歌处以总计82.5亿欧元的罚款,其中一起涉及其Android智能手机操作系统。这是其竞争对手微软在欧盟罚款22亿欧元的四倍。这两家公司在欧洲的监管问题已经持续了十年。


预计谷歌将对欧盟委员会2017年的决定发起三管齐下的攻击,该决定还包括一项对竞争对手一视同仁的命令。


“这在法律、事实和经济上都是错误的。谷歌在一份声明中说:“购物广告一直帮助人们快速、轻松地找到他们想要的商品,帮助商家接触到潜在客户。”


关键问题在于,自我推荐是否反竞争,亚马逊和eBay是否应被视为谷歌的竞争对手。


对竞争对手而言,此案的焦点在于谷歌作为中央网络把关人的角色。


谷歌的搜索服务实际上扮演了“造王者”的角色。如果找不到你,其他的人也不会跟着来。任何公司都不应该被允许滥用这种地位来推销自己的服务,损害竞争对手和消费者的利益。


他表示:“这一判决将对许多依赖于谷歌搜索服务公平排名的行业产生影响。”


法院的裁决可能在明年做出。


与此同时,玛格丽特•韦斯塔格尔(Margrethe Vestager)作为欧洲数字主管的新角色将不会闲着。她将在未来几个月宣布几项提案,以遏制美国占主导地位的在线集团,目前美国和这些公司正在进行反击。

 

Google is seeking to overturn the first of three hefty European Union antitrust fines at Europe’s second-highest court in a landmark case, Reuters reports.

The company will lay out its arguments against a fine of 2.4 billion euros (US$2.6 billion) handed out by the European Commission during a three-day hearing at the General Court starting on Wednesday.

EU regulators said this penalty was for Google’s favoring its own price comparison shopping service to the disadvantage of smaller European rivals.

The EU has fined Google a total of 8.25 billion euros in three separate cases, including one involving its Android smartphone operating system. This is four times more than its rival Microsoft’s EU fines of 2.2 billion euros. Both companies’ regulatory troubles in Europe have lasted a decade.

Google is expected to launch a three-pronged attack against the Commission’s 2017 decision which also included an order to treat competitors equally.

“It is wrong on the law, the facts, and the economics. Shopping ads have always helped people find the products they are looking for quickly and easily, and helped merchants to reach potential customers,” Google said in a statement.

The key issue is whether self preferencing is anti-competitive and whether Amazon and eBay should be counted as Google’s rivals.

For rivals, the case centers on Google’s role as a central online gatekeeper.

“Google’s search service acts as a de-facto kingmaker. If you are not found, the rest cannot follow. No company should be allowed to abuse such position to promote its own services at the detriment of competitors and consumers alike,” said lawyer Thomas Hoppner who advises clients who are critical of Google.

“The judgement will have repercussions for a large variety of industries that depend on fair ranking of their services on Google Search,” he said.

The court ruling is likely to come next year.

In the meantime, Margrethe Vestager in her new beefed-up role as Europe’s digital chief will not be idle. She is set to announce several proposals in the coming months to rein in dominant US online groups amid push back by the United States and the companies.

 

来自: ejinsight