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Google accused of anti-competitive behavior in $2.4B lawsuit

The Swedish price comparison site PriceRunner on Monday filed a lawsuit accusing Google of manipulating search results to favor its own shopping service. 

The firm is seeking roughly $2.4 billion in compensation for damage to its business.

“We are of course seeking compensation for the damage Google has caused us during many years, but are also seeing this lawsuit 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,” Mikael Lindahl, CEO of PriceRunner, said in a statement. 

The lawsuit follows a seven-year investigation into Google’s search practices by European regulators.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, ruled in 2017 that Google had violated antitrust laws by giving preference to Google Shopping in search results. 

The executive body gave out a fine of $2.7 billion in the case, which Google appealed. The decision was upheld this past November, although the Silicon Valley giant can still take the case to Europe’s highest court.

Google’s Shopping Ads program director, Frederic Abrard, said in a statement that changes made after the 2017 decision “are working successfully, generating growth and jobs for hundreds of comparison shopping services who operate more than 800 websites across Europe.”

“PriceRunner chose not to use Shopping ads on Google, so may not have seen the same successes that others have,” he added.

Updated at 12:20 p.m.

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