Google Sued for $2.4B by PriceRunner

Alphabet’s Google (GOOGL) will have to defend itself in Sweden over claims that it manipulates search results. Reuters reports that Swedish price comparison firm PriceRunner is suing the tech giant for $2.4 billion.

Alphabet is the parent company of Google. Google accounts for 99% of its total revenue, mostly from advertisements.

PriceRunner vs. Google

In the lawsuit, PriceRunner is seeking compensation for profit lost in Britain since 2008, and in Sweden and Denmark since 2013. The company says Google engaged in uncompetitive behavior by manipulating search results that resulted in it losing business.

In an interview with Reuters, PriceRunner’s Chief Executive Mikael Lindahl said his company is prepared to fight Google. PriceRunner has secured tens of millions of euros from external financing to pursue the lawsuit.

The latest lawsuit comes on the heels of Google losing an appeal against a €2.42 billion fine handed in 2017. In the lawsuit, Google was accused of using a price comparison service that gave it an unfair advantage over smaller European rivals.

Before handing the massive fine, the European Commission found Google gave its price comparison service more prominent placement than its rivals. The commission also concluded that the company distorted internet search results to favor its shopping service.

Analysts’ Take

MKM Partners analyst Rohit Kulkarni reiterated the Buy rating on Alphabet stock and raised the price target to $3,375 from $3,150, which suggests 21.23% upside potential. According to Kulkarni, Alphabet delivered solid Q4 financial results. The analyst is also impressed with cloud revenue growth offsetting soft YouTube revenue.

Consensus among analysts is a Strong Buy based on 31 Buys. The average Alphabet price target of $3,498.71 implies 25.67% upside potential to current levels.

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