Focus On Innovation: A Review Of The Taiwan Fair Trade Commission’s Investigation On Google Maps

By Su-Wan Wang & Elizabeth Xiao-Ru Wang

The Taiwanese Competition Authority has recently confronted issues surrounding Google’s search practices. A number of independent providers of digital map programs complained to the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission (“TFTC”) about Google’s search result algorithms. These firms alleged that Google’s search results gave Google Maps favorable placement on its search results pages, reflecting an unfair competitive practice. The map providers also claimed that Google’s conduct deprived them of business opportunities, resulting in a loss of revenue, and violating Taiwan’s competition statutes. In responding to these concerns, the TFTC conducted a multi-year investigation and closed the probe in the summer of 2015 with a finding of no violations.
This article explains how the TFTC examined whether Google had market dominance, and whether Google’s conduct constituted an abuse of dominance. The authors go on to describe the two primary economic tests employed by the TFTC for the agency’s refusal to deal analysis, the essential facility test and the profit sacrifice test.