Antitrust Lawyer Blog Commentary on Current Developments

Google settles EC antitrust lawsuit

On February 5, 2014, Google settled its long-running legal battle with the European Commission caused by its overwhelming control (+90%) of Europe’s search engine market. Under the settlement, Google will offer a number of concessions to its competitors, such as a promise to display results from at least three competitors every time it shows its own results for specialized searches to things like products, restaurants, and travel, and to give rival content providers, such as Yelp, the option to opt out of Google’s specialized searches without negatively affecting their rankings in normal Google searches. In addition, Google will remove conditions that have made it difficult for advertisers to move campaigns to rival sites, and allow sites that use Google’s search tool to show ads from other services. However, Google’s rivals were denied a key request—market test of the settlement measures to determine their effectiveness. Nevertheless, the settlement between Google and the highest antitrust authorities in Europe means the complainants have no recourse other than to take the European Commission itself to court.

 

Mark Ye
202-589-1834
mye@dbmlawgroup.com