EU Shopping Judgment: What Does Equal Access to Google’s General Results Pages Mean?

By Thomas Hoppner (Technical University Wildau)

With its judgment of 10th November 2021, Europe’s General Court did not just dismiss Google’s appeal against the European Commission’s Google Search (Shopping) decision, uphold the fine, tell gatekeepers “don’t be evil,” and remind everyone that Europe ensures equal opportunities. The Court also rectified all of Google’s misrepresentations of the challenged Commission decision. By doing so, the judgment deprives the mechanisms that Google chose to implement the remedy imposed by the Commission of its conceptual foundation. Google will need to change the way it treats competing specialised search services fundamentally. The article summarises how the judgment withdraws the basis of Google’s so called Compliance Mechanism, what the required equal access to Google’s general results pages presupposes and what this means for affected specialised search services.

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