An Overview of the Commission’s Case Against Google

In May 2012, the European Commission announced that it had identified four areas “where Google business practices may be considered as abuses of dominance”:   Search manipulation: The Commission was concerned that Google eliminates competition from specialised search engines—those focusing on specific areas such as travel, local reviews, mapping, and shopping—by artificially demoting them in … read more

The Simple Application of European Competition Rules

Former President of the General Court of the European Union has recently published a paper regarding the essential facility doctrine with regards to the Google case. In his paper, in which he acknowledges he has undertaken paid research for Google, Mr Vesterdorf essentially argues that the Commission’s case is flawed because Google is not an … read more

Responding to Googlespeak: Part 5

Myth 5: Our practices haven’t caused any harm. Rather than challenge the Commission’s SO head on and argue that it should be free to exploit its massive dominance in search to divert users away from relevant competing sites and toward its own, less-relevant sites, Google’s main argument appears to be a variant of the “no … read more

Responding to Googlespeak: Part 4

Myth 4: Competitors don’t want us to include our own services in search results. In characterizing the Commission’s SO, Google claims it is based on allegations by competitors that “Google’s practice of including our own specialized results…in search have significantly harmed their businesses” (emphasis added).   Fact 4: Competitors just want Google to let them … read more

Responding to Googlespeak: Part 3

Myth 3: That there are other specialized online services proves we’ve done nothing wrong. Google claims that the continued existence of other comparison shopping services shows that the Commission’s “allegations of harm” are “wide of the mark.”   Fact 3: Google’s manipulation of search results harms consumers and competition. The Commission’s SO focuses on the … read more

Responding to Googlespeak: Part 2

Myth 2: The popularity of Amazon and eBay shows that competition is thriving.   Google’s blog post includes graphs on “Shopping Sites” in Germany, France, and the UK, which purport to show that Amazon and eBay receive more online traffic than Google Shopping. According to Google, this proves that “(a) there’s a ton of competition … read more

Responding to Googlespeak: Confronting Google’s Arguments

On April 15, the European Commission announced that it had issued a Statement of Objections (SO) to Google for illegally abusing its dominance in search, and that it was opening a separate investigation into abuses involving Android, Google’s mobile operating system. In response, Google issued two blog posts “strongly disagree[ing] with” the Commission and setting … read more

Celebrating World Intellectual Property Day

World Intellectual Property Day, which is celebrated on Sunday April 26th, is a reminder to us all of the important role played by all those content creators, from authors and publishers to film makers and photographers, who enrich our daily lives with their work. On this day it is important that we remember the vital … read more

Questions Raised by Google’s Response to the Statement of Objections

By the time Commissioner Vestager had made her announcement this week that Google were to be issued a Statement of Objections, the company had released their response, strangely titled “A Search for Harm”, on their blog setting out their initial arguments against the Commission’s finding. They had already laid the groundwork to this response with … read more

Come on, Google, address the facts

This week, the European Commission announced a Statement of Objections (SO) against Google, confirming that Google is dominant in search and that is has illegally abused that dominance. Immediately prior to that announcement, Google sent an internal memo to its staff in which it attempted to explain away the Commission’s concerns. The memo was soon … read more