On 17 December, the General Court granted four Hausfeld clients, Infederation Ltd (“Foundem”), German press publishers’ associations VDZ and BDZV as well as Visual Meta GmbH, permission to intervene in Google’s ongoing appeal of the European Commission’s June 2017 Google Search (Shopping) Decision. The granting of such permission to intervene will allow Hausfeld’s clients to participate in the General Court’s proceedings and provide technical support to the European Commission in defending its 2017 Decision.
The European Commission launched its investigation into Google’s online search services in 2010, following complaints from Foundem, a UK-based vertical search provider and from BDZV and VDZ, representing hundreds of German press publishers. As a result of its investigation, the Commission found in 2017 that Google had systematically abused its dominant position as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to its own comparison shopping service, to the detriment of its competitors. In addition to a fine of €2.42 billion, Google was ordered to bring the abuse to an end, and refrain from any measure which would have the same or similar object or effect, within 90 days.
The granting of such permission to intervene in the General Court proceedings marks a further success for Hausfeld’s clients in the Commission’s Google investigations and reinforces Hausfeld’s expertise in representing clients in the European Courts alongside our ongoing work for clients in their follow-on damage claims against Google in national courts throughout Europe.