Abuse of Dominant Position in the Online World with Special Emphasis to the Definition of Relevant Markets: The Example of Google
41 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2021
Date Written: February 25, 2021
The emergence of digital markets and the increasing speed of its development have raised the question, whether existing competition rules are fit for the digital era. The three famous abuse decisions of the European Commission on Google (namely Google Search (Shopping), Google AdSense and Google Android) show that complicated technical processes open up many possibilities for results-oriented decision-making. This is also evident in the light of decisions by American, German and French competition authorities on similar issues. Google's business model, relying on a broad network, usually free of charge for consumers, is a good way
of illustrating the special features of the online world.
The European Commission's Google Search decision and Google AdSense decision demonstrate how quickly the relevant markets in the digital field can change. This will clearly show the possibilities for market definition offered by the technical intricacies. The European Commission´s Google Android decision illustrates the consequences of a technically understandable but otherwise rather questionable decision. German Bundeskartellamt´s VG Media decision as well as French Autorité de la concurrence´s Syndicat des éditeurs de la presse magazine decision and Gibmedia decision show differences and similarities within the EU regarding the definition of relevant markets.
Keywords: EU competition law, antitrust law, abuse of dominant position, relevant market in digital economy, Google
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