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Google's antitrust liabilities now proliferating globally -- Google faces 3 antitrust cases in Germany

In a strategically important development, three antitrust complaints were filed against Google in Germany per Bloomberg

The big takeaway here is Google's antitrust liabilities are clearly proliferating globally.

Since U.S. antitrust authorities already determined Google has a monopoly in search advertising and search advertising syndication as a result of the ill-fated proposed Google-Yahoo ad agreement, and since Google's market shares are higher in Europe than they are in the U.S., it was only a matter of time before antitrust cases were filed against Google in Europe.

The strategic significance of this Germany/EU development is that now both sides of the Atlantic will be focusing on Google's monopoly power and limitless ambitions to organize the world's information.

  • Undoubtedly there will be more ongoing discussions between the DOJ/FTC and the European antitrust authorities, which is not a good dynamic going forward for Google.
  • Moreover, current U.S. antitrust authorities, which have clearly indicated that they are going to take a firmer law enforcement approach to antitrust than the previous Adminstration, are unlikely to let the Europeans take the international lead on addressing Google's antitrust threat to competition in a wide variety of industries. 

It should be no surprise that Germany book publishers are suing Google in Germany, because they were among the first internationally to seriously oppose the Google Book Settlement, as I wrote previously about in my piece "Google kicks a hornets nest in Book settlement.

In short, Google can't have a world monopolistic mission to organize the world's information, world dominance of 70-90% share in most all of the world, and worldwide efforts to leverage its monopoly market power into many vertical markets, without expecting proliferating world antitrust liability.