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Clifford Chance advises FairSearch on its second successful European Commission antitrust investigation

18 July 2018

Clifford Chance advises FairSearch on its second successful European Commission antitrust investigation

Leading international law firm Clifford Chance has represented FairSearch, the main complainant, in the European Commission's investigation into Google's anticompetitive practices related to Android, leading to a fine of €4.34 billion. FairSearch filed the initial complaint triggering the investigation that led to today’s decision.

Google's anticompetitive conduct identified in today's European Commission's decision includes: forcing of bundles of Google apps onto original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), prohibiting open source versions of Android, and offering financial incentives to phone manufacturers conditional on the exclusivity of Google Search on Android devices. These practices hinder the development of Android open source operating systems and prevent rival apps and services to compete effectively.

Today's decision is the second antitrust case investigated by the European Commission concerning Google's practices in Europe. The Clifford Chance antitrust team advised FairSearch in the European Commission's first investigation on Google's search manipulation practices in online comparison shopping, which led to a record fine of €2.4 billion in June 2017.

Commenting on the decision, lead partner Thomas Vinje said, “This is another major achievement for Clifford Chance's antitrust team following the European Commission's decision in June last year. Today's decision means that Google should cease its anticompetitive practices regarding smartphones, but also in other areas – smart TVs in particular – where it is foreclosing competition by using the same practices.”

FairSearch is an industry association united to promote economic growth, innovation and choice across the Internet ecosystem by fostering and defending competition in online markets, to the benefit of consumers.

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, Axelle D'heygere and Simon Gammeltoft.

 

 

Thomas Vinje speaks to CNN about the recent European Commission decision to fine Google a record €4.34bn for anticompetitive practices related to Android.

©CNNInt 2018, All rights reserved, Used with permission.
 

Thomas Vinje speaks to Bloomberg about the recent European Commission decision to fine Google a record €4.34bn for anticompetitive practices related to Android. 

©Bloomberg LP 2018, All rights reserved, Used with permission.