Fining Google: a missed opportunity for legal certainty?

Eben, M. (2018) Fining Google: a missed opportunity for legal certainty? European Competition Journal, 14(1), pp. 129-151. (doi: 10.1080/17441056.2018.1460973)

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Abstract

In December 2017, the European Commission imposed a record fine of €2.42 billion on Google in the Google Search (Shopping) Case for breach of Article 102TFEU. This article criticizes this fine as an infringement of the principle of legal certainty, since Google could not reasonably have foreseen that its conduct would amount to a breach of Article 102TFEU. It discusses the importance of legal certainty, as well as the broad powers and wide discretion the Commission enjoys in abuse of dominance cases, including the ability not to impose a fine. The article also provides an overview of the uncertainty which surrounded the application of the law at the time of the investigation, as well as the lack of clarity subsequently provided by the Decision. It is argued that, in imposing this record fine, the Commission has missed an opportunity to respect legal certainty, and combine the objective of deterrence with a desire to stimulate pro-competitive behaviour.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by a university research scholarship from the University of Leeds.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Eben, Ms Magali
Authors: Eben, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Journal Name:European Competition Journal
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1744-1056
ISSN (Online):1757-8396
Published Online:09 April 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
First Published:First published in European Competition Journal 14(1):129-151
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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