European Court of Justice continues to grapple with online media issues

Judges at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) continue to grapple with online media issues. The latest case concerns when is a multimedia news outlet also an audiovisual service provider. The difference is important because the two are subject to different regulatory regimes. New Media Online is an Austrian company that operates the website of … read more

Examining the Digital Single Market Agenda

At the end of September ICOMP hosted a panel discussion in Brussels to discuss the Digital Single Market Agenda and which was called “One size fits all? Getting Europe’s tech policy right”. The panel featured business leaders, lawyers, trade organisations and a representative of a European Commissioner. In attendance were stakeholders from across the digital … read more

ICOMP Statement: CCI Charges Against Google

The filing of substantial charges against Google by India’s competition commission, the CCI, as reported in Indian and global media, represents a major step towards ending Google’s anti-competitive behaviour. It follows three years of detailed investigation of complaints in India. With competition authorities in both India and the EU now presenting formal statements clearly articulating … read more

Google in Denial

Today’s blog post from Google is, unfortunately, simply another attempt to divert attention away from the devastating impact their self-preferencing has had on the online market, making many of the same old arguments we have seen before. Commissioner Vestager has been clear that in her view Google’s systematic self preferencing of its own comparison shopping … read more

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