Antitrust & competition law /

The European Commission as the supreme body protecting the competition rules of the European Union

The European Commission (EC) together with national competition protection authorities (e.g. the Polish Office for Competition and Consumer Protection) directly enforces compliance with EU competition rules, among others those contained in Articles 101 to 109 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU). The European Commission carries out its statutory tasks in the field of competition and consumer protection primarily through the Directorate-General for Competition. It should be pointed out that the activities within the aforementioned protection are undertaken primarily to improve the functioning of EU markets and, at the same time, guarantee equal and fair conditions for all enterprises. The way in which protection is carried out is supposed to bring particular benefits to consumers, businesses as well as the entire European economy.

Recently, actions undertaken in the scope of the protection of competition rules by the EC have become the subject of an intrinsic public debate, on the basis of a fine of EUR 4.34 billion imposed by the EC on Google for violation of EU competition law. Although the fine is not the first imposed on Google, it is the highest fine imposed so far on the company in the history of the European Commission.

The fine was imposed on Google because, in the opinion of the European Commission, Google favors its applications in the Android operating system (the most popular operating system among smartphones), i.a. through preferably illegal methods of binding applications, forcing users to install more of these applications (e.g. to be able to access the Google Play application, you must install Google Chrome browser).

Google has announced that it will appeal against the decision of the European Commission, which will undoubtedly extend the whole proceedings by several years.

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