Google’s appeal in EU Court watched closely by digital economy

On 12-14 February 2020, Google is appealing the European Commission’s Google Shopping Decision of 2017, finding that Google breached European competition rules. The General Court will hear the appeal in Luxembourg and will hear from Google, the European Commission (EC) and the interveners supporting the EC on these issues.

Hausfeld London’s client Foundem and Hausfeld Berlin’s clients Visual Meta, BDZV, VDZ are also intervening in support of the European Commission. They are advocating for the Decision to be upheld.

They argue that Google's behaviour constitutes a serious abuse of dominance which must stop or it will destroy competition in all the markets in which it decides to enter.

With all eyes on how the EU’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, is planning to tackle a crackdown on tech giants, the outcome is set to be viewed as a central precedent for the digital economy. The final ruling may have implications not only for other existing or future probes against Google - most recently holidays - but also for other platforms like Amazon that may have favoured own products to those of third party sellers.

As this is the first decision (of the 3 decisions totalling fines of €8.25 billion) which are appealed by Google, the hearings generated significant media interest.

Bloomberg (10/02), Bloomberg (12/02) and Bloomberg (13/02)
CGTN Global Business
Competition Policy International
Deutsche Welle
Economic Times 
Financial Times
Global Competition Review (subscription only)
International Business Times 
MLex (subscription only)
New York Times 
The Telegraph (subscription only)
Wall Street Journal (subscription only)

For additional information:

Google Shopping: 41 European founders and CEOs write to Commissioner Vestager
Google Shopping decision: Hausfeld clients receive permission to intervene