Google Appeals Multibillion-Dollar EU Search Fine

Google on Monday announced plans to appeal the 2.4-billion-euro ($2.9 billion) antitrust fine it received from the European Union.

The EU fined Google for abusing its dominance in Europe, saying the company gives prominent placement in searches to its own comparison shopping service.

It could take several years before General Court -- Europe's second-highest -- hears the appeal, according to Reuters.

The commission ordered Google to stop using the technology by September 28, which it says gives preference to the company's advertising. It is now reviewing Google's proposal to comply with the decision.

Mark Mahaney, analyst at RBC Capital, published a research note Sunday describing how regulatory activity taken against Alphabet's ad company Google could drive up traffic acquisition costs when it comes to generating advertising dollars.

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Mahaney remains "bullish" on Alphabet's growth, but sets up a "hypothetical" scenario. "The outcome of the EU Android investigation is unknown and leverage could play out several ways (maybe Google would start charging for Android…)," he wrote. "But TAC is a major expense -- $21B in ’17 or 22% of Google’s Ad Revenue. It has been a major investor concern."

He wrote that "every 100 bps of increased TAC would clip $0.40 or 1% from our ’18 EPS estimate." It turns out that the greater risk to Google would likely come from what Mahaney calls "Multiple vs. EPS pressure, although Google remains trading above its average forward multiple."

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