Comparison website PriceRunner sues Google for manipulating search results

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What you need to know

  • PriceRunner sues Google for manipulating search results.
  • The company says Google has caused harm to European consumers who are overpaying when shopping online.
  • PriceRunner says Google has not complied with the European Commission's 2017 decision.

PriceRunner is suing Google for €2.1 billion ($2.4 billion) for breaching EU antitrust laws by manipulating search results in favor of their own comparison shopping services.

The company says in a press release that by manipulating search results, Google has caused harm to European consumers who are overpaying when shopping online and has caused harm to PriceRunner and other comparison shopping services.

PriceRunner is a comparison service with 2.3 million products from 6,000 retailers. The company's services are used every month by consumers who can compare products, prices, specifications, read professional product tests, and consumer reviews.

"We are of course seeking compensation for the damage Google has caused us during many years, but we 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 14 years and still today," Mikael Lindahl, CEO of PriceRunner, says in the release.

Lindahl adds that it's also a matter of survival for many European entrepreneurial companies and job opportunities within tech.

"If American tech giants, through a market position almost equal to a monopoly, are allowed to do exactly as they please and manipulate markets, we can almost certainly count on the fact that many tech companies in Europe will be affected far beyond the comparison shopping market in focus today," he says.

PriceRunner also believes that Google has not complied with the European Commission's 2017 decision to fine the company and is still abusing its dominant power.

In 2017, the European Commission fined Google $2.42 billion euros for breaching antitrust rules. The commission indicated that Google had favored its own comparison shopping services over others. Google contested the claim using the EU's second-highest court, and in November 2021, the EU's General Court ruled that the commission was correct in fining Google.

PriceRunner says it has suffered "Google's abuse" and has the right to claim damages and intends to make Google pay compensation for the profits that the company lost in the U.K. since 2008, as well as in Sweden and Denmark since 2013.

"With financially strong owners, external funding and Europe's leading experts on our t4eam, we look forward to receiving compensation for our loss and to contributing to Google ending its illegal behavior. Both European consumers and digital corporations suffer greater direct damage by these tech giants; dominance than many would believe," Lindahl noted.

Shruti Shekar
Editor in Chief

Shruti Shekar is Android Central's managing editor. She was born in India, brought up in Singapore, but now lives in Toronto and couldn't be happier. She started her journalism career as a political reporter in Ottawa, Canada's capital, and then made her foray into tech journalism at MobileSyrup and most recently at Yahoo Finance Canada. When work isn't on her mind, she loves working out, reading thrillers, watching the Raptors, and planning what she's going to eat the next day.