Antitrust: General Court confirms the Commission Google Search case

Today, the General Court confirmed the Commission’s June 2017 decision that Google abused its market dominance in general search by treating its own comparison shopping service more favourably than competing comparison shopping services. Google was displaying its own service prominently at or near the top of the first search results page, irrespective of how good or relevant it was, while rival services were demoted to page four or lower, where they were not even seen. Today’s judgment delivers the clear message that Google’s conduct was unlawful and it provides the necessary legal clarity for the market. Comparison shopping delivers an important service to consumers, at a time when e-commerce has become more and more important for retailers and consumers. As digital services have become omnipresent in our society nowadays, consumers should be able to rely on them in order to make informed and unbiased choices. The Commission will continue to use all tools at its disposal to address the role of big digital platforms on which businesses and users depend to, respectively, access end users and access digital services. Antitrust enforcement goes hand in hand with the EU’s legislative action to address specific issues going beyond competition law. In this respect, the Commission’s proposal for a Regulation on Digital Markets Act to ensure fairness and contestability is currently discussed by the European Parliament and the Council.