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Hausfeld and Freshfields Advise idealo in a €500+ Million Suit Against Google for Abuse of Dominance

Related Lawyers: Prof. Dr. Thomas Höppner, Dr. Alex Petrasincu, Dr. Jan Markus Weber, Philipp Westerhoff, Anthony Maton
Related Practice Areas: Competition Counseling and Compliance, Competition Litigation

Hausfeld and Freshfields are advising Germany-based comparison shopping service idealo internet GmbH (“idealo”) in a landmark competition damages suit against Google before the Berlin regional court.

The law suit follows the European Commission decision in 2017, establishing that Google abused its dominance in EU markets for general search services by favouring its own comparison shopping service, Google Shopping. With the claim, the plaintiff quantifies a damage of some half a billion Euros. In light of the upcoming process of disclosure, a further increase of this amount has not been ruled out.

Since 2008, Google has been promoting its own comparison shopping service in its general search results pages by positioning and displaying it more prominently than competing, and more relevant, comparison shopping services such as idealo which, conversely, Google demoted down the results pages. With this conduct Google infringes European and German competition law. The European Commission prohibited the conduct in 2017 and imposed a penalty of €2,42 billion against Google.

Hausfeld’s team is led by partners Thomas Höppner and Alex Petrasincu supported by their specialised competition damages team including Jan Weber and Philipp Westerhoff.

In these proceedings, Hausfeld is working together with Freshfields, the appointed law firm of idealo’s parent company, Axel Springer, with a team of Dr. Roman Mallmann who has the overall lead.

Hausfeld has been representing idealo and its subsidiary Visual Meta since 2012 as complainant before the European Commission. Hausfeld is also representing several other complainants in the various EU competition investigations against Google.