The Court of Justice of the European Union dismissed Google’s appeal and upheld the European Commission’s 2017 decision, which ruled, among other things, that the company had operated its own price comparison service, Google Shopping. Although the company has since complied with the Commission’s requirements and paid a fine of € 2.42 billion, the appeal has been a serious stake, especially for the Commission, which set up the new legal framework governing digital markets.
An investigation that preceded the 2017 decision confirmed that Google used its dominance in the search engine market to gain an advantage over another Google product, Google Shopping, which competes in price comparison services, in violation of EU competition standards.
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According to the requirements of the decision closing the case, Google is required to treat its own comparative service and its competitors in the same way and to rank among search results on the basis of the same algorithms (“processes and methods”) and to demonstrate to the Commission how to implement it. The company has met these conditions on time, and it claims that the market has been booming since then, with more than 700 price comparison services generating billions of clicks since then.
However, it would have had serious consequences for the Commission if the General Court had ruled in favor of Google in the appeal case. Especially since the EU executive once ran into a sigh of relief when last summer a court annulled a Commission decision in 2016 ordering Apple to reimburse Ireland € 13 billion in illegally received tax breaks and interest. .
Experts say the current victory could clear up this previous loophole and provide additional ammunition to the Commission in the implementation of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) to regulate digital markets after its entry into force. The DMA framework was set up by the Commission to regulate the large-scale multitasking and to offset their market dominance, which, according to the recent political consensus, will replace national authorities in most competition proceedings affecting EU markets in the future.
Source: HWSW Informatikai Hírmagazin by www.hwsw.hu.
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