PriceRunner, a Swedish price comparison service, sued Google for about €2.1 billion for manipulating search results. The company claims that Google abused its market dominance by promoting its own shopping and comparison services, earning revenue, and profiting from it.
In November last year, Google lost an appeal back against a €2.4 billion fine that it received initially back in 2017. The previous investigation ran for over 7 years by the EU, which found that Google abused its market position and used its own price comparison shopping service tool to gain an unfair advantage over other competing platforms and services.
PriceRunner claims that Google caused harm to both consumers and other price comparison services, and that the search giant is still using techniques and the same tools to give itself an advantage over other businesses. PriceRunner, which is currently in the process of being acquired by Klarna, filed the lawsuit in Sweden and wants Alphabet (parent company of Google) to compensate for the damages and the lost profits in Britain since 2008, as well as in Sweden and Denmark since 2013 (via Reuters).
A Google spokesperson said that "The changes we made to shopping ads back in 2017 are working successfully ... PriceRunner chose not to use shopping ads on Google, so may not have seen the same successes that others have,"
Executive Mikael Lindahl told_Reuters_ that the company is prepared to fight for years, and it had already secured tens of millions of euros in external financing, and took precautionary steps, in case the company doesn’t win in court.
"European consumers have been denied real choice in shopping services for many years and this is one step to ensuring this ends now," a Klarna spokesperson said to_Reuters_.
It remains to be seen how this will end, but it will likely take months, if not years, until a published result.