The Challenges of Applying Competition Law to Online Platforms: The Case of Search Engines Markets
Keywords:online platform market, search engine, abuse of dominant position
The fast-emerging aspect of online platform economic structures cast into doubt whether antitrust enforcement in information technology industries can protect consumers without damaging businesses that are rapidly developing. Adapting the current competition law system to the high technology market and, more specifically, to the case of online platforms, will not be a simple task as the developments in these markets have been unforeseen or hardly considered. The application of established case law, legal tools, and economic theories may require some adjustments in the context of online platforms. The legal concepts and economic considerations in the context of competition law are still in the initial phase of development whereas the EU Commission and the national competition authorities try to discover how competition law should apply in the case of the online platform markets. This article analyzes the application of the EU competition law in a Google manipulating search results case. The case of Google search engine represents the most high-profile competition investigation. This is because it raises questions about the effectiveness of Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union in regulating online platform markets. Therefore, in this article, the allegations of the Google search engine case are crucial to examine to illustrate that competition law may not effectively be applied to control the abusive power in the online platform market and may require changes in application methodologies when concerning online platforms.
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