google: the Swedish price comparator PriceRunner is suing Google for 2.4 billion dollars

Swedish shopping comparison site PriceRunner said on Monday it was suing tech giant Google for 2.1 billion euros ($2.4 billion) for promoting its own shopping comparisons in search results. research.

Europe has cracked down on Big Tech business practices in recent years, while the EU is pushing ahead with legislation to tighten regulation. The American behemoths face fines and legal action in many European countries.

The Swedish tech startup said it expected “the final amount of lawsuit damages to be significantly higher” given that “the infringement is still ongoing.”

Chief executive Mikael Lindahl said the lawsuit was also a fight “for consumers who have suffered tremendously from Google’s violation of competition law over the past fourteen years and still do today.”

The Swedish tech startup has filed a complaint with the Stockholm Patent and Market Court after the General Court of the European Union ruled that Google “breached EU antitrust laws by manipulating search results in favor of their own price comparison services”.

In November, the EU court upheld a €2.4 billion fine the European Commission imposed on Google in 2017, saying results from Google’s own comparison service were “displayed in a more eye-catching way “.

In an email to AFP, Google defended itself and pointed out that changes had been made after 2017 and that it “is the subject of intensive monitoring by the European Commission and two groups of ‘external experts’.

“PriceRunner has chosen not to use ads on Google, so it may not have been as successful as others. We are prepared to defend our position in court,” said Frederic Abrard, Director of CSS Shopping Ads at Google.

PriceRunner said it was seeking damages for lost profits in Britain since 2008 and in Sweden and Denmark since 2013.

PriceRunner said Google has a “monopoly-like position” within the European Economic Area (EU plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), with over 90% market share for internet search engines .

The price comparison site is based in Sweden but also operates in Denmark, Norway and the UK. He previously said he plans to expand to other countries.

In November, Swedish fintech Klarna bought PriceRunner for an undisclosed amount, with media valuing the price at over $1 billion.

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