Google Is Lawyering Up In Europe After Record Fines

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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Google is making sure it has top-notch legal representation after European Union regulators in June levied a record fine of $2.7 billion against the company, according to a Tuesday Reuters report.

To ensure it’s ready for various litigation bouts, the tech conglomerate is reportedly tapping talent from at least five of the top law firms in Brussels, Belgium. Google’s decision to ramp up its legal arsenal is likely in response to the EU antitrust arm issuing the massive penalty, which is reportedly the biggest ever imposed on a company.

The move is also allegedly a reaction to reports that regulators are weighing the possibility of further penalizing the company, Reuters reports. One potential instance allegedly involves Google’s mobile operating system, Android, and another case pertains to AdSense, its program and platform for publishing advertisements.

“Given the potential penalties and damages actions it faces, Google will want to invest in the best possible defence team, and direct legal costs will be a relatively minor consideration,” Ian Giles, a partner at London-based law firm Norton Rose Fulbright, told Reuters. “There may be simple capacity reasons as to why they are sharing the workload between a number of law firms, but there is also value to seeking a second opinion, reconsidering strategy, and bringing new ideas to the table.”

Google isn’t the only American tech company being peppered with threats and accusations from European governing bodies.

The same regulatory arm of the EU that recently penalized Google demanded Apple pay roughly $14.9 billion in taxes last year. (RELATED: EU May Demand That US Tech Companies Surrender Personal Data)

Germany, a member state of the EU, is separately evaluating whether it thinks Facebook exploits its popularity by essentially forcing users to agree to its contractual guidelines, according to a recent Bloomberg report.

The country also passed a highly challenged law in late June permitting the state to levy steep fines if the social media firm fails to remove “obviously illegal” content — like hate speech, defamation, and calls for violence — within a 24 hour timeframe. (RELATED: Germany To Consider Fining Facebook If It Doesn’t Purge Fake News)

Facebook denounced the German law when it was proposed, asserting that it will unduly cause systemic censorship.

Due to the litany of ultimatums and punishments tech companies have received, its not very surprising Google is gearing up for more legal battles.

Google did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment by time of publication.

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