The German competition gendarme paved the way on Wednesday for the implementation of restrictions on the activities of the American giant Google in the country, in application of a recent law strengthening its prerogatives on companies with "significant importance in the markets" .
According to the decision rendered by the Federal Anti-Cartel Office, which opened an investigation against Google and its parent company Alphabet a few months ago, these companies have "significant market importance", impacting competition.
The regulator "can now take action against specific anti-competitive practices by Google," he said in a statement.
The Anti-Cartel Office is applying a law that came into force last year, which strengthens its powers against companies, mainly digital, dominating the market.
Under this text, investigations had been launched against Facebook, Amazon and Google.
The decision against Google is the first rendered by the German antitrust.
"A considerable influence on the access of other companies to its users"
In particular, the law allows immediate measures to be taken to prevent certain practices, for example “self-referencing of group services” on its platforms, or “preventing third-party companies from entering a market”.
According to the competition officer, the law can apply to Google, given the weight of the company in its market.
"Holding more than 80% of the market share, Google occupies a dominant position in the market for general search services in Germany and is the main supplier of search advertising", the authority indicates.
In addition, "Google has a considerable influence on the access of other companies to its users and its advertising customers", via "Youtube, Android, Play Store", in particular.
The company can therefore "set rules and conditions for other companies in the markets," said the organization.
With this law, Germany is a pioneer in the fight against the anti-competitive practices of the digital giants in Europe.
It remains to be seen whether this framework can promote the emergence of other search engines in Germany.
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