Google on the chain: Cartel Office can now take tougher action

Google is becoming more and more targeted by the Federal Cartel Office. (Image source: GIGA)

Things could get uncomfortable for Google in Germany in the near future: the Federal Cartel Office has re-evaluated the parent company Alphabet, which gives the authority significantly more leeway in the event of violations.


Google in the sights of the Federal Cartel Office

For the first time, the Federal Cartel Office has one for Google “Outstanding, cross-market importance” detected. With this reassessment, activities of Google are now subject to an “extended abuse control”, as the President of the Cartel Office, Andreas Mundt, explains. This makes it much easier to prohibit competitive practices, which could have noticeable consequences for Google in Germany.

Should be in the future “Concrete, harmful to competition” If behavior is detected by Google, the Federal Cartel Office is given more leeway. The background to the reassessment is a procedure based on newly introduced regulations for digital corporations, which was initiated in May 2021. Here, Google’s data processing practices are the focus of the cartel watchdogs’ interests. The news offering from Google News Showcase is also being scrutinized more closely (source: Time online).

In Germany, they have been in effect since January 2021 new rules in competition law, which is why the Federal Cartel Office is taking more active action against Google and other tech companies. In the case of anti-competitive practices, the authority can intervene earlier and prohibit them.

In everyday life it doesn’t always have to be Google, because there are also alternatives:

Not just Google: proceedings against Amazon, Apple and Meta

In addition to Google, the Federal Cartel Office is also targeting other tech companies. Against Amazon, Apple and Meta (Facebook) According to the Federal Cartel Office, test procedures are also ongoing. If the authority comes to a similar assessment, then the named US companies in this country must also expect stricter controls.

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