The Google Shopping decision

Law & Economics workshop organised by Concurrences Review in partnership with White & Case and Compass Lexecon.

Nicholas Banasevic

Nicholas described the facts of the case. He continuously stressed that Google Shopping is a leveraging abuse case. Google uses its dominance in one market to extend its power in an adjacent market. Factually, Google has abused its dominant position by promoting its own comparison shopping service, Google Shopping, and demoting its rivals.

In Nicholas’ opinion, there are many interesting debates and opinions about what label one should give to this general leveraging behaviour. In his view this is a remarkable discussion because in Intel, despite the big effects analysis in that case, the Commission was criticized for employing a legal characterization that fitted Intel’s rebates into a certain label.

One of the areas of disagreement with Google, is that the Commission concluded that comparison shopping services constitute a separate, perhaps adjacent, market from the market of merchants and merchant platforms, such as Amazon, eBay, or classic retailers. As part of the evidence, Nicholas considered important that merchant platforms have a vertical relationship with comparison shopping services. Whilst Google allows merchant platforms to appear in its comparison shopping service, it does not allow comparable shopping services to appear in it.

Photos © Emilie Gomez

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