Google Search (Shopping) Judgment: Implications for Tech Antitrust & Regulation

On 10 November 2021, the European General Court announced its long-awaited judgment in the high-profile competition case, Google Search (Shopping). The ruling on the Commission’s €2.4 billion fine decision that condemned Google from favouring its comparison shopping service within general search results pages is the first major judgment on competition in digital markets globally and a precedent for leveraging practices of ‘Big Tech’ companies more specifically. The legal, technical and economic complexity of the case led it to be seen as the “mother of antitrust battles”.

Hausfeld Partners from Germany and the UK discussed the key findings of the European General Court and its potentially far-reaching ramifications for pending and future antitrust cases and digital policy in digital markets, including:

  • Definition of markets for digital platforms
  • Relevant theories of harm
  • Key competition factors in multi-sided markets
  • Public and private enforcement of similar leveraging cases
  • Consequences for regulation of Big Tech globally

You may also be interested in the report “Google's (Non-) Compliance with the EU Shopping Decision”, a study based upon empirical data of 25 comparison shopping services. Points made in the study were picked up by the Court and it answers why the Commission needs to launch a non-compliance proceeding now.