CLBR #232: Yair Cohen and Google’s Antitrust Battle with the EU

Google Battles the EU on Antitrust

Yair Cohen (@CyberLawExpert) founder of the London-based Cohen Davis Solicitors joins us to discuss the brewing battle between Google and the EU over Antitrust.


2010: EU Opens Inquiry into Google Search

The regulators have focused on accusations that Google diverts traffic from competitors rivals to favor its own comparison shopping site.

  • FTC rejected such charges in 2013.
  • Reached settlement in 2014 that fell through.
  • May 2016 reports that EU will seek 3 billion fine.

Europe Opens Antitrust Inquiry Into Google, New York Times (Nov. 30, 2010).

Europe Challenges Google, Seeing Violations of Its Antitrust Law, New York Times (April 15, 2015).

Google faces record three billion euro EU antitrust fine: Telegraph, Reuters (May 16, 2-16).

2016: EU Accuses Claims Promoting Google Search on Android May Have Violated Antitrust Laws

EU contends by requiring phone makers and operators to preload a set of Google apps, rather than letting them decide for themselves which apps to load, Google might have cut off one of the main ways that new apps can reach customer

One such example: Google denies access to its Play Store, with more than one million apps, to phone makers that don’t meet its requirements, including making Google the default search engine on their devices. Regulators say Europeans get 90% of their Android mobile apps from the Play Store.

EU Files Formal Charges Against Google Over Android Conduct, Wall Street Journal (April 20, 2016)

Google gets more time to counter EU antitrust charge on Android

2016: Adwords Inquiry

The Commission has asked Google rivals to share information related to search advertising with the tech giant, a step suggesting the EU competition enforcer could be poised to hit Google with a fresh charge, the sources said.

EU regulators readying third Google antitrust charge: sources, Reuters (June 28, 2016)

Is This Something Bigger than Google?

Google Is Target of European Backlash on U.S. Tech Dominance, New York Times (Sep. 8, 2014)

Why Google’s monopoly abuse case in Europe will run and run, Ars Technica (May 19, 2016)

How Europe Is Going After Google, Amazon and Other U.S. Tech Giants

Rich U.S. High-Tech Firms May Be Stifling Innovation, OECD Says, Bloomberg (June 16, 2016).


California Supreme Court To Review Yelp’s Case For Not Removing Allegedly Defamatory Reviews 

Backpage Loses Battle with Senate Committee

CRS Report on Regulating Advocacy of Terrorism on the Internet

#IAmMyOwnGuardian: Thousands of Saudi women petition for the right to make decisions without a man’s permission

Shout Outs and In Memorium

U.S. Holocaust Museum/LMU Program on “Fueling Extremism on the Internet”

U.S. Holocaust Museum and Loyola Marymount University on “Fueling Extremism on the Internet” where this was very much part of the debate.  Below is an brief segment with David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, United Nations, and Professor, University of California, Irvine, School of Law, addressing the topic.

RIP Shimon Peres

The former Israeli Prime Minister died at the age of 93.

International Right to Know Day

The right of access to information is an important human right, necessary for the enjoyment of other human rights.  The right to information is essential for transparent and accountable government. The right of access to information makes possible the public involvement in formulating social policies and in the decision-making processes of governance.  The right to information can only be effectively exercised and implemented on the basis of laws, regulating this right in accordance with international standards.

Which is why reports like these out of Thailand are disturbing.

Today is Stupid Question Day

No kidding.  Here is the origin:

During the 1980’s a bunch of teachers realized that their students weren’t asking questions for fear of sounding stupid. So they created a day dedicated to letting students ask the questions they were most ashamed of. By making a place that was safe for all questions, they were encouraging them to open up and share their curiosity with the class, without the fear of being ridiculed. Ever since then Ask a Stupid Question Day has been an annual tradition celebrated by American Schools everywhere, and has recently travelled into Britain and India.

And here are some downright stupid questions to play with.

Tomorrow Live Streaming Presentation on Social Media


On Thursday, I will presenting on “Ethical Issues of Playing in the Social Media Sandbox,” with my law school classmate Francine Ward at the State Bar Annual Meeting in San Diego.  See the State Bar website for details and live streaming information.