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Clifford Chance advises Fairsearch on the European Commission case leading to the record €2.4BN EU fine imposed on Google over search engine manipulation practices

29 June 2017

Clifford Chance advises Fairsearch on the European Commission case leading to the record €2.4BN EU fine imposed on Google over search engine manipulation practices

International law firm Clifford Chance has advised FairSearch on the European Commission investigation leading it to impose the record €2.4bn EU fine on Google for illegal search manipulation practices in a key online sector, comparison shopping – a service that allows users to compare product features, prices, and availability from a wide selection of online retailers.

The European Commission has officially announced its decision to fine Google a record-breaking €2.42 billion ($2.7bn, £2.1bn) for abuse of dominance in a landmark decision in the comparison shopping case – the first of three antitrust cases investigated by the EC concerning Google's practices in Europe. The EC is concerned about Google advantaging its comparison shopping services.

This decision is seen as one of the Commission's most important behavioural antitrust decisions in the last decade.

Clifford Chance's Antitrust team advised FairSearch, an industry coalition that includes companies such as Oracle, Foundem, Naspers and Tripadvisor. FairSearch is a leading interested third party in the Commission's investigation in relation to Google Search.

Clifford Chance also represents FairSearch as the main complainant in the Commission's Google Android investigation. A decision in the Android case is expected soon.

The Clifford Chance team advising FairSearch is co-led by antitrust partner Thomas Vinje, Chairman of Clifford Chance's Global Antitrust Practice, and antitrust partner Dieter Paemen, with support from antitrust lawyers Andriani Ferti, Ashwin Van Rooijen, Milena Robotham, Aleksander Tombinski, Katharine Missenden and Axelle D'heygere.

Thomas Vinje comments "This case represents a major win for our leading antitrust team, who have worked on this matter for many years. We are proud to have acted on one of the largest and most complicated abuse of dominance cases the market has ever seen."