The German Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt) has concluded its proceeding against Alphabet, Inc ("Google"), initiated in June 2021, relating to the "Google News Showcase" programme without issuing a ruling. Google News Showcase is a programme for journalistic content which may be used by publishers to build a closer relationship with their audience.
Remaining competition concerns following the examination were addressed by clarifications and certain proposed measures from Google. The proceeding of the Bundeskartellamt was based on the new provisions of the German Competition Act (Section 19a GWB), which were introduced in early 2021. The provisions are intended to target certain behavior by digital companies with a paramount significance for competition across markets.
Hengeler Mueller advised Google in the proceeding. The team included partners Christoph Stadler (Antitrust, Düsseldorf), Albrecht Conrad (Copyright and Media Law, London), Christoph Wilken (Antitrust, Brussels) and Wolfgang Spoerr (Media Law, Berlin), counsel Anja Balitzki (Antitrust, Düsseldorf) and Tobias Schubert (Media Law, Berlin) as well as associates Sophia Ampatziadis (Copyright and Media Law, Berlin), Frederic Geber (Düsseldorf), Lisa Lueg (Berlin) (both Public Law), Nicolas Schwarz (Düsseldorf) and Kamilla Zembala-Börner (Brussels) (both Antitrust).