Un-FRAND-ly use of content and data and other abuses of intermediation power: The German competition probes into Google’s ecosystem

On 30 December 2021, the German Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office, “FCO”) designated Alphabet Inc., parent company of Google, (“Google”) as an ‘undertaking of paramount significance for competition across markets’.[1] The FCO is now considering whether to prohibit particular anti-competitive practices, including Google’s collection and use of valuable content and data. This may mark the first use of antitrust law to address the interwoven competition concerns arising from the control over an entire ecosystem, as compared to the traditional market-by-market analysis. This article outlines the background to the investigation, its key topics and possible policy lessons to be learned, potentially both in the EU and the U.S.

I. Background

New German law targeting large digital conglomerates (Section 19a)

In January 2021 the German legislator added a new Section 19a in the German Competition Act.[2] Forming the heart of the ‘digital upgrade’ of the law on abuse of dominance, Section 19a contains seven new general clauses plus ten precise rule examples for conduct which constitutes an abuse if carried out by an addressee of the provision.[3] Such undertakings are not automatically (i.e., by statute) bound by the new obligations. In contrast to self-executing prohibitions, relevant conduct will only be prohibited once the FCO has completed a two-stage procedure. The FCO is required to, first, determine that an undertaking is of ‘paramount significance for competition across markets’, Section 19a(1). Then, as a second decision, the FCO may prohibit any of the seven types of abuse listed in Section 19a(2) if the undertaking already carries out equivalent conduct, or if there is a risk that it will do so in the future.

Google identified as first addressee of Section 19a

With regard to Google specifically, on 30 December 2021, the FCO finalized step one of this procedure and determined that Google was an undertaking of ‘paramount significance for competition across markets’ (see below at II.). Such a determination is valid for five years (i.e., until the end of 2026). Equivalent designations are expected for Meta[4] (formerly known as Facebook), Amazon,[5] and Apple[6] in Q1+2/2022.

Pending FCO examinations of Google practices

Regarding stage two, the prohibition of specific conduct, the FCO announced that it is already examining two practices: the roll-out of Google News Showcase[7] and the way in which Google gathers and processes personal data.[8] Since affected parties previously have lodged several other complaints, and considering Google’s far-reaching practices, it is likely that further investigations will follow (see below at III.).

II. Google’s ‘paramount significance for competition across markets’

It came as no surprise that the FCO’s decision of 30 December 2021 found Google to be of ‘paramount significance for competition across markets.’

In November 2021, the EU’s General Court had already considered Google’s search service as an “ultra-dominant” “gateway to the internet”, an “infrastructure” that “has characteristics akin to those of an essential facility.[9] In addition, Google’s (i) mobile operating system Android, (ii) marketplace for mobile apps Play Store,[10] (iii) web browser Chrome,[11] (iv) search advertising services,[12] as well as its (v) ad tech-intermediation services[13] have been found to dominate their respective markets. Google’s overwhelming dominance in these individual core platform markets inevitably had to lead to the finding that Google is of paramount significance for competition across digital markets. Like no other company, Google can determine the winners and losers in the digital sphere.

Holistic cross-market perspective

While the result was not surprising, the FCO’s holistic 170 pages assessment still stands out and provides new insights for other ongoing cases, such as United States v Google.[14] In line with the cross-market approach underlying Section 19a, in its analysis, the FCO rightly focused on Google’s overall control of the ecosystem, rather than on determining positions in individual markets. The thorough analysis convincingly explains how the various services that Google controls within its ecosystem are closely interlinked, and how this enables them to mutually favor one another and shield each other from competition. Thereby, the different services re-enforce their respective positions, making the entire Google ecosystem incontestable.

The FCO outlined, inter alia, how Google benefits from: (i) economies of scope and promotional opportunities across markets, (ii) the ability to set rules for competitive processes within its ecosystem, (ii) access to a broad, deep, and steadily growing database that can be used for several services, (iii) its offer of a number of highly sought-after services whose many active users can be shifted from one service to another, (iv) the high level of vertical integration and the interconnectedness and complementary nature of the services across markets, as well as (v) the high revenues generated with its advertising services, allowing a swift expansion into adjacent markets. A key finding was that:

data and other resources to which Google has recourse to, such as the brand, may be reused freely across markets as ‘shareable input.’ By adding value through the combination of resources this allows to operate, improve, expand and develop new products and advertising services.[15]

Equally crucial was that:

in part, Google ‘regulates’ markets and market processes, which develop or take place within the ecosystem by setting the framework for those. Due to this role as operator of the ecosystem, Google often finds it easier as compared to (potential) competitors to expand into such a new market, because when designing the framework, the undertaking may take account of its own needs, strengths and weaknesses. In addition, at several points within its ecosystem, Google may influence the selection decisions of users to the benefit of its own services, for instance by means of a pre-installation or pre-setting of own services within other own services or those of third parties. This secures sales for its own services while in effect restricting the opportunities of comparable third-party services to access the users whose demand is satisfied via Google’s services/apps.”[16]

Taken together, the FCO concluded that Google’s services:

can be described as ‘infrastructure’ since, for one thing, a large number of other services can to a great extent only be offered using Google’s services and, for another, Google’s services are of great importance for the business activities of third parties.”[17]

Lessons for competition policy 

Google declared that it does not necessarily agree with the facts and conclusions drawn in the FCO’s determination decision. However, it did not appeal the decision and even waived its right to do so.

Considering this, and the rather short time period of less than one year in which the decision was reached, step one of the process under the new regime can be seen as a success for the FCO. To be sure, during this year of identifying the ‘obvious,’ Google remained free to continue its abusive practices. Because the provisions are not self-executing, Google is still not prohibited from engaging in the abusive practices listed in Section 19a(2); a significant weakness of the law.[18] However, on the upside, the identification process shed light on Google’s overall ecosystem and its societal relevance, and thereby decreased the FCO’s information asymmetry towards Google. This marks an important policy shift from an isolated market-by-market analysis towards a more holistic approach that considers the competitive interdependencies within an ecosystem controlled by a single digital undertaking. Such interdependencies are equally as complex as they are significant. A holistic approach reduces the risk of over- and under-enforcement (type I and II errors), and allows more fine-tuned and effective interventions along with more targeted remedies. This is crucial, in particular, when the application of competition or data protection law affects the use, blocking, or processing of ‘shareable’ data which is used to generate network effects within an ecosystem.[19]

III. FCO focus now turns to substantial obligations 

Whether the FCO’s intervention, and Section 19a as a whole, will ultimately be a success now entirely depends on the authority’s decisions to enforce the obligations enshrined in Section 19a(2). The FCO announced that it is currently already examining two practices.

Google News Showcase – abusive buy-out of the press? 

In June 2020, Google announced a global licensing program to acquire copyright protected content from press publishers (articles, images, videos). Google has set aside a fixed budget of US $ 1 billion for a period of three years for licensing deals with press publishers around the world. Officially, Google pays the money in exchange for those “partner” publishers, selected by Google, producing editorially curated content that Google may include in “news showcases”. However, economically the essence of such deals is that the publisher grants Google a royalty-free, worldwide, sublicensable license to use its content (including full texts, high resolution images and videos) in connection with Google products and services anywhere within its ecosystem, in particular by displaying content within any user interface (e.g., Google NewsDiscover, Google Images, YouTubeChrome). Starting in Germany and Brazil, within less than two years the program has been expanded to the UK, Argentina, Canada, Japan, Australia, Italy, Czechia, India, Austria, Colombia, Ireland, Portugal, and Poland.[20]

Google advocates the licensing program as a voluntary commitment to journalism and contribution to support news businesses.[21] Others, including the authors, consider the project as an abuse of dominance of unprecedented scope, and a very serious threat to a free press as a cornerstone of any democracy. The core concerns stem from the fact that in the medium- to long term the only economic beneficiary of the program will be Google. Press publishers, in contrast, will be deprived of their readers, content, data, brand, licensing fees, and their commercial independence, in particular vis-à-vis Google.[22]

In order to secure competition and media plurality, over the last few years legislators in Germany,[23] the European Union,[24] Australia,[25] and, most recently, the United States[26] have gone a long way to strengthen the copyright of press publishers and its effective enforcement vis-à-vis digital gatekeepers, in particular Google and Facebook. Reflecting the crucial role of an unhindered distribution of the press, in essence, such platforms are obliged to intermediate between end users and press publishers and to compensate the later for the use of their content on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms and conditions.

Google News Showcase is Google’s reaction to bypass such obligations. Instead of having to treat and pay all press publishers fairly on the basis of reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing agreements, whenever Google decides to display press content to attract users and monetize them through advertisements, Google now only pays a ratio of a fixed sum to media partners of Google’s choosing. The number of accredited partners is enough for Google to satisfy and monetize the majority of the consumer demand for press information on its own interfaces, at virtually zero costs. One billion for three years equates to approximately 0.1% of Google’s total revenues even though Google uses press content to complete and upvalue the majority of its search results pages and other user interfaces, as consumers are interested in reliable press information. In contrast, due to the overall declining revenues in the press industry, for those press publishers selected by Google, any licensing payment makes a difference – and is still more than no payment from Google at all. Not least due to Google’s abusive conduct (e.g., the preferential treatment of its own news aggregation services within its ecosystem), Google’s licensing program presents a lifeline that some press publishers cannot afford to resist. But the more publishers that accept Google’s buy-out of their content for a fixed fee, the more press content Google can present its users directly on its own interfaces, the more attractive such Google news offering becomes, the less users will turn to press publishers directly, and the more dependent publishers become on Google’s ‘goodwill’ to keep them as ‘partner’ findable in its ecosystem. Google is taking advantage of a classical prisoners’ dilemma that it created itself.[27]

In the authors’ views, Google’s conduct fulfills several provisions of Section 19a(2), most strikingly, Section 19a(2) no 7. This provision was introduced specifically as an antitrust instrument to safeguard the enforcement of press publishers’ IP rights vis-à-vis digital gatekeepers by disallowing the latter to use any ‘divide and conquer’ strategy against the former.[28] In this case, such strategy translates into Google’s attempt to “(i) divide press publishers by means of granting selective intermediation benefits (e.g. a more prominent display of their articles), along with the threat of utter disintermediation (e.g. their algorithmic demotion), and (ii) conquer the value of their content, data and brand at virtually no costs, by ‘offering’ royalty-free licensing deals as pre-condition to escape the significant disadvantages from (i).”

Section 19a(2) no 7 entitles the FCO to prohibit Google from “demanding benefits for handling the offers of another undertaking which are disproportionate to the reasons for the demand, in particular a) demanding the transfer of data or rights that are not absolutely necessary for the purpose of presenting these offers, b) making the quality in which these offers are presented conditional on the transfer of data or rights which are not reasonably required for this purpose.” According to the official grounds for the law, this shall include de facto demands “for instance if a search engine is technically structured in a way that the display of certain results is conditioned on the granting of rights or data.[29] This appears to be the case with respect to the Google News Showcase: When intermediating between end users and press publishers within its ecosystem, Google automatically puts content from its Google News Showcase partners first, i.e., above content from non-partners.[30] Yet, to become a ‘partner,’ a press publisher needs to grant Google a royalty-free, worldwide, sublicensable license to use its content in connection with Google products and services. By, in effect, conditioning the intermediation of press publishers within Google’s ecosystem on their granting of royalty-free (and un-FRAND-ly) IP licenses, Google is ‘demanding benefits for handling the offers of another undertaking which are disproportionate to the reasons for the demand.’ Such conduct distorts competition and reduces media plurality. Considering the vital role of a pluralistic press, the practice is destined to trigger interventions in many democratic countries. It presents exactly the type of case for which the ecosystem approach in Section 19a was adopted.

Google’s terms for processing data – Facebook 2.0?

Similar to the Google News Showcase matter, the FCO is also currently analyzing whether Google’s terms and conditions for the processing of user data relevant for competition are fair and reasonable. In particular, the FCO is examining “whether Google makes the use of services conditional on the users agreeing to the processing of their data without giving them sufficient choice as to whether, how and for what purpose such data are processed.[31] Such conduct could be prohibited under Section 19a(2) no 4 lit. a) which condemns “making the use of services conditional on the user agreeing to the processing of data from other services of the undertaking or a third-party provider without giving the user sufficient choice as to whether, how and for what purpose such data are processed”.

Reminiscent of the FCO’s famous Facebook case,[32] according to FCO President Andreas Mundt, the “key question in this context is whether consumers wishing to use Google’s services have sufficient choice as to how Google will use their data.” This expands to the processing of consumer data obtained from third-party websites and apps, for examples through Google’s advertising services – an area in which the FCO will be able to benefit from previous investigations into Google’s ad tech stack.

At least originally, the focus lay on Google’s use of consumer data. However, the investigation could – and in the authors’ views should – be expanded to also protect business users. There is no reason why Google should be entitled to make the use of its intermediation services conditional on business users agreeing to the processing of any data by Google without giving them sufficient choice as to whether, how, and for what purposes such data are processed. In this respect the FCO could draw parallels from the considerations in the European Commission’s probe[33] into Amazon’s use of marketplace data for the sale of its own products.[34]

Further concerns relating to Google’s ecosystem 

The range of practices that the FCO may prohibit pursuant to Section 19a(2) reaches much further than those currently already examined. Not just the favoring of its own services, but also every hindering, discrimination, or exploitation of competitors or business users may be prohibited at an early stage. In the case of Google, such intervention appears overdue. In 2017, the European Commission prohibited Google from favoring its own services in general search results pages.[35] In 2018, the authority condemned the mandatory pre-installation of Google services on Android devices, [36] and in 2019 the use of contract clauses that hindered rivals from offering their services.[37] In 2021, the French competition authority also found that Google favored its own services within its ecosystem, this time services for the intermediation of advertising.[38] Yet, Google has largely ignored such decisions and compliance has not always been sufficiently supervised.[39] As a result, Google’s ecosystem is still dominated by self-preferencing, opacity, exploitation, and exclusion.

Hardware manufacturers and mobile carriers wishing to operate on Android, must pre-install Google services (or are at least incentivized to do so), including Google Search and Chrome. Within Chrome the default search engine is Google SearchGoogle Search in turn favors all of Google’s specialized search services (e.g., for comparison shopping, local searches, hotels, flights and other travel related services, jobs, videos and images, etc.), which in turn favor each other and shift users back and forth. All offerings together are exclusively bundled in Google’s online advertising intermediation services, and feed them with relevant data that is not even shared with the business users generating such data. Simultaneously, under the disguise of privacy concerns, Google hinders third parties from entering into direct business relationships with end customers, and from collecting relevant data to improve their services.[40] The user and data gap between Google and the others grows consistently, and along with that the dependence of everyone on Google and its de-facto regulatory power grows further.

As long as it remains more profitable to pay fines than to adhere to the law, the current cases are unlikely to be the last before the FCO and other enforcement authorities.

Prohibitions, settlements and effective enforcement 

In theory, the FCO can close any investigation by accepting binding commitments or even non-binding promises to alter problematic conduct. In fact, in February 2022, the FCO consulted press publishers on proposals that Google had submitted to cease the Google News Showcase probe.[41]

Designing workable remedies is difficult for any enforcement authority. Combined with the need to react ‘quickly,’ it can be attractive to strike a deal with a gatekeeper that appears to solve something.[42] However, no authority should favor quick but shallow solutions over more burdensome but solid remedies. Transparent proceedings that involve the expertise and technical know-how of all affected parties are required to achieve solutions that genuinely maximize consumer welfare. This is particularly important when, as in the case of Section 19a, no private enforcement is envisaged, and hence the law relies exclusively on one competition enforcer with limited resources.

The need to strengthen the enforcement mechanism was rightly acknowledged in the “Competition Policy Agenda Until 2025” of the new German Federal Minister for Economics, which was published on 21 February 2022: “Digital markets are complex, business models and technologies change permanently. Abuse of dominance and distortions of competition can take place in many ways. Breaches of law must not lead to advantages in competition. In order to stand up to the new challenges, the Ministry espouses to strengthen the FCO in the enforcement of antitrust law […]. The FCO shall be able to act against abusive conduct of undertakings with significant relevance across markets (Sec. 19a Competition Act) also after the EU Digital Markets Act (DMA) becomes effective”.[43] Considering that German competition law was already ‘upgraded’ to the challenges of digital markets and the FCO already enjoys a pioneering role in this field, this can be read as a clear policy statement in favor of more rigorous enforcement of the newly established principles; also and in particular at national level.

IV. Conclusion

The FCO’s probe demonstrates the advantages of an ecosystem approach when assessing particular conduct of conglomerate digital gatekeepers under antitrust law. When dealing with such undertakings, the factual, technical, and economic implications of conduct must be considered, not just on markets directly affected by the practice, but on the ecosystem as a whole. Gatekeepers have various options and incentives to combine several seemingly minor measures in a way that their overall impact on competition is devastating. The effects on each individual market in isolation may appear too small to prioritize any enforcement. Yet, the combined impact may give swift intervention the highest priority. An effective regulatory framework needs to focus on such interrelations without further increasing the burden on enforcement authorities. Section 19a of the German Competition Act achieves this by allowing an ecosystem approach while granting leeway with regard to market definition, and shifting the burden of proof for objective justifications to the gatekeeper. This, and the FCO’s holistic approach thus far, go in the right direction. The German approach may therefore very well inspire future competition law enforcement in the digital sphere elsewhere. Even for the traditional approach, it can provide significant guidance when designing and fine-tuning (structural) remedies, which will also play an important role in, for instance, in United States. v Google.[44]

*Thomas Hoppner is a Partner, Philipp Westerhoff a Senior Associate with Hausfeld Rechtsanwälte LLP. Hausfeld is representing several complainants in the FCO investigation concerned.


[1] FCO, Decision of 30 December 2021, Case B7-61/21 – Alphabet, available at https://bit.ly/35gVKYx (in German language only). Also see FCO, press release of 5 January 2022, Alphabet/Google subject to new abuse control applicable to large digital companies – Bundeskartellamt determines “paramount significance across markets”, available at https://bit.ly/35e3uur.

[2] An English translation of the German Competition Act is available at https://bit.ly/35wAVbo.

[3] For details see Hoppner, Digital upgrade of German Antitrust Law - blueprint for regulating systemic platforms in Europe and beyond?, available at https://bit.ly/3hnxuqg.

[4] See FCO, press release of 28 January 2021, First proceeding based on new rules for digital companies – Bundeskartellamt also assesses new Section 19a GWB in its Facebook/Oculus case, available at https://bit.ly/3hpkhxb.

[5] See FCO, press release of 18 May 2021, Proceedings against Amazon based on new rules for large digital companies (Section 19a GWB), available at https://bit.ly/3M2ZbCT.

[6] See FCO, press release of 21 June 2021, Proceeding against Apple based on new rules for large digital companies (Section 19a(1) GWB) – Bundeskartellamt examines Apple’s significance for competition across markets, available at https://bit.ly/3t9UJcJ.

[7] See FCO, press release of 4 June 2021, Bundeskartellamt examines Google News Showcase, available at https://bit.ly/35uzVoc.

[8] See FCO, press release of 25 May 2021, Proceeding against Google based on new rules for large digital players (Section 19a GWB) – Bundeskartellamt examines Google's significance for competition across markets and its data processing, available at https://bit.ly/35wcxXA.

[9] General Court of the European Union, Judgment of 10 November 2021, Case T-612/17 – Google and Alphabet v Commission (Google Shopping), at paras. 177, 180, 183, 224, and 227.

[10] See European Commission, press release of 18 July 2018, Antitrust: Commission fines Google €4.34 billion for illegal practices regarding Android mobile devices to strengthen dominance of Google's search engine, available at https://bit.ly/3snYZGk.

[11] See CMA, Notice of intention to accept commitments offered by Google in relation to its Privacy Sandbox Proposals of 11 June 2021, Case 50972, available at https://bit.ly/3vlyGm9.

[12] See European Commission, press release of 20 March 2019, Antitrust: Commission fines Google €1.49 billion for abusive practices in online advertising, available at https://bit.ly/3vmEfRt.

[13] See Autorité de la concurrence, press release of 7 June 2021, The Autorité de la concurrence hands out a €220 millions fine to Google for favouring its own services in the online advertising sector, available at https://bit.ly/3IkNGo1.

[14] United States v. Google, LLC, D.D.C., No. 1:20-cv-03010-APM.

[15] See FCO, Decision of 30 December 2021, Case B7-61/21 – Alphabet, para. 412.

[16] See FCO, Decision of 30 December 2021, Case B7-61/21 – Alphabet, para. 414-415.

[17] See FCO, press release of 5 January 2022, Alphabet/Google subject to new abuse control applicable to large digital companies – Bundeskartellamt determines “paramount significance across markets”, available at https://bit.ly/35e3uur.

[18] See Hoppner, Plattform-Regulierung light, Wirtschaft und Wettbewerb (WuW) 2020, pp. 71-80 (in German), available at https://bit.ly/3K0AQMc, arguing in favor of a solution that automatically binds the undertaking as soon as it has been designated as a norm addressee (as now adopted in the DMA).

[19] See Hoppner/Westerhoff, Privacy by Default, Abuse by Design, available at https://bit.ly/3tdbHaf.

[20] Google Blog, 16 November 2021, Google News Showcase, one year in, available at https://bit.ly/3sncmGL.

[21] Id.

[22] Dachwitz/Fanta, 30 October 2020, News Showcase ist Googles strategische Meisterleistung, available at  https://bit.ly/358EBR0.

[23] Seventh amendment of the German Copyright Act of 2012, creating an ancillary right for press publishers; see Hoppner, Technical-economic aspects of the neighbouring right for press publishers, Kommunikation & Recht (K&R) 2013, pp. 73-82 (in German).

[24] Directive (EU) 2019/790 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market; see Hoppner, EU Copyright Reform: The Case for a Publisher’s Right, I.P.Q 1/2018, pp. 1-21.

[25] See the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code of 2021, https://bit.ly/3pmMVTT.

[26] See Proposal for a Journalism Competition and Preservation Act of 2021, creating a safe harbor from antitrust laws for digital news companies to collectively negotiate with online content distributors regarding the terms on which the news companies’ content may be distributed.

[27] See Hoppner, The relationship of search engines and content providers at the interface of copyright and antitrust law, WRP 2012, pp. 615-637 (in German).

[28] See reasonings of the German parliament, BT-Drs. 19/25868, pp. 117-118, https://bit.ly/3t7Gk0K.

[29] Id.

[30] Google Blog, 20 Apr. 2021, Google News Showcase in launching in Czechia, available at https://bit.ly/3taF5hn. “News Showcase content from our publisher partners will automatically start to appear in panels in Google News and on Discover from today”.

[31] FCO, press release of 25 May 2021, Proceeding against Google based on new rules for large digital players (Section 19a GWB) – Bundeskartellamt examines Google's significance for competition across markets and its data processing, available at https://bit.ly/35wcxXA.

[32] See FCO, press release of 7 February 2019, Bundeskartellamt prohibits Facebook from combining user data from different sources, available at https://bit.ly/3M4qCw6.

[33] Case AT.40703, see European Commission, press release of 10 November 2020, Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Amazon for the use of non-public independent seller data and opens second investigation into its e-commerce business practices, available at https://bit.ly/3t9OXIk,

[34] See Hoppner/Westerhoff, The EU's competition investigation into Amazon's Marketplace, available at https://bit.ly/36PJUFv for more details.

[35] See European Commission, press release of 27 June 2017, Antitrust: Commission fines Google €2.42 billion for abusing dominance as search engine by giving illegal advantage to own comparison shopping service, available at https://bit.ly/3soVb7S.

[36] See European Commission, press release of 18 July 2018, Antitrust: Commission fines Google €4.34 billion for illegal practices regarding Android mobile devices to strengthen dominance of Google’s search engine, available at https://bit.ly/3phjsKX.

[37] See European Commission, press release of 20 March 2019, Antitrust: Commission fines Google €1.49 billion for abusive practices in online advertising, available at https://bit.ly/3vmEfRt.

[38] See Autorité de la concurrence, press release of 7 June 2021, The Autorité de la concurrence hands out a €220 millions fine to Google for favouring its own services in the online advertising sector, available at https://bit.ly/3IkNGo1.

[39] See Hoppner, Antitrust remedies in digital markets: lessons for enforcement authorities from non-compliance with EU Google decisions, available at https://bit.ly/3phjBxZ as well as Hoppner, The Google Shopping Competition Saga, Compliance and the Rule of Law, 15 G.C.L.R. 1/2022, pp. 9-21 (forthcoming).

[40] Financial Times, 24 January 2022, German publishers oppose Google plan to phase out third-party cookies, https://on.ft.com/3BT9Vz3.

[41] Lomas, 12 January 2022, Google offers not top put News Showcase into search results in Germany as antitrust probe rolls on, https://tcrn.ch/3Itursn.

[42] See Westerhoff, The German Amazon Marketplace Agreement Case: A landmark settlement with global reach or more hype than substance?, available at https://bit.ly/3BU4XSu.

[43] Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Wettbewerbspolitische Agenda des BMWK bis 2025 of 21 February 2022, available at https://bit.ly/3hoiNmW (in German language only).

[44] United States v. Google, LLC, D.D.C., No. 1:20-cv-03010-APM.

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