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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Google accusations - competition law as the theory of everything - UPDATED

UPDATE: where is the harm? Even competitors who complain about its behavior are thriving because of Google, inter alia, and their tears are very likely to be crocodile tears (see Expedia, for instance) - http://googleblog.blogspot.mx

By pressing long-announced accusations on Google for an alleged abuse of dominant position in the general internet search market, the European Commission is ready to cross yet another boundary which, at its best, will only assist a few of the Google competitors, currently in distress, due to the huge success Google enjoys, based on its merits!
This boundary is a Rubicon and it will be difficult if not impossible for the Commission to stand back from now on.
It is amazing, difficult to understand and plainly dangerous for the use of the powerful article 102 TFEU to present such serious accusations, based mainly on strong words and adjectives: ”it stifles competition and harms consumers”, says the European Commission.
How? Is Google defined as an essential facility and does it mean that this concept is now fully recognized? If so - and the answer should be affirmative in the light of the statement of objections served today - the consequences of this line of thinking will spread well beyond the Google case, to other platforms (Facebook is the natural next target) and to different industries.
The statement of objections sent to Google today will be certainly followed by a huge fine and, very likely, by behavioral measures imposed on the technology giant.  It will be another sad moment, when the European Commission will affirms itself as a true regulator and referee of the economic games. Other battles against giants will find their route to the European Union and the Commission will be asked to use its competition tools in various situations. Everything which will be unpleasant to less efficient undertakings is likely to find its comfort in article 102 TFEU - a theory of everything where all the successes which cannot be explained, ley alone replicated, by the less efficient competitors will automatically be considered suspicios and illegal under article 102!? 
Welcome to the future?

European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Google on comparison shopping service; opens separate formal investigation on Android: European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Google on comparison shopping service; opens separate formal investigation on Android