Google Shopping: a Shot in the Arm for the EC’s Enforcement Effort, but how much will it Matter?

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The judgment issued by the EU General Court on 10 November 2021, dismissing Google’s appeal of the EC’s 2017 decision Google Search (Shopping) (Case AT.39740), is a milestone and a lifeline for DG Competition. Without this endorsement, the whole edifice of Art 102 enforcement (the key European unilateral conduct tool) in the digital space would have been critically undermined. The Court clarifies and even strengthens some of the reasoning in the EC decision, but more importantly it hands the EC a major political victory, appearing to vindicate its approach and record at a time when questions have been raised globally about what has really been achieved by Europe’s antitrust exertions.

In this article Cristina Caffarra argues that, while the judgement is good news, in reality the length of current processes and the difficulty of crafting effective remedies remain the main millstone around European antitrust enforcement.

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