Google UK High Court Win & The Consequences
Last Friday was great day for Google as it celebrates a win on one of its legal battles. For once, the tech giant is not being inundated with controversy claims, destruction and accusations. Google scored a high court victory when the verdict came out in favor of the search engine.Advertisement
The verdict last Friday between the Streetmap.eu vs. Google inc. competition case is said o have set a new hurdle for proving that the dominant player had caused harm. With the verdict in place, the defense team has argued that Mr. Justice Roth has now set a new hurdle for victims of competitive abuse, reports The Register.
According to Prieskel & Co. Barrister Tim Cowen, “this is the first case where you have to show the harm is ‘appreciable’ rather than just an effect. It’s new law.” Prieskel & Co. is the law firm that argued Streetmap’s case.
Cowen also says that the ruling will have a chilling effect on small businesses. “The high Court ruling doesn’t apply in other courts like in Ireland or the Netherlands.” The search engine can now abuse its dominant position in the UK much more easily than it can in the rest of EU because of this.
The Register also reports that currently, British digital tech businesses are touted as a key component of the UK government’s growth story. The government stoked the “tech city” digital cluster and has even invested in “Innovate UK” and its growing series of national and regional Catapults.
But given the dominance that Google has on many internet markets and platforms, for some, taking their great ideas to other places like the Netherlands and/or Luxembourg may suddenly become much more appealing to start up companies.
Cowen explains that people are not going to know what’s going on in a monopolistic market. His team pointed out that in the Streetmap vs. Google case, the effect on the tech giant’s traffic was only revealed through a discovery process. The fear in this kind of situation is that it will more likely lock in the dominance of the dominant player. Which prove more of a gain for the search engine company’s side.
So far, the team still argues that the recent verdict is flawed as the tech firm has not shown any evidence that it has undertaken any of the legal obligations under the UK and EU law that a dominant player should do.
Meanwhile, 9 To 5 Google points out that last April, the EU has filed formal charges against the American tech firm for showing results that is in favor of its own shopping service. It could also be recalled that so far in the past, the tech giant has been having troubles with the EU. This recent victory is small in comparison, but who knows what’s in store for the future.