The Czech price comparison site Heureka.cz filed a lawsuit against Google in the Prague City Court for abusing its dominant position in search. It demands CZK 394.9 million from it as a lost profit for three years. Google favored its price comparison Google Shopping over the competition in search results. The Czech representation of Google has not yet received a lawsuit.
Google abuses its dominance in searches. Despite the European Commission’s (EC) regulation, which imposed a fine on it in 2017, it did not correct the problem. Braverman justified the decision of the Czech price comparator to recover lost profits from Google.
Three years ago, the EC fined 2.42 billion euros (63.6 billion CZK) for Google for abusing its dominant position on the market. According to the commission, he favored another of his products in his search engine, namely a service for comparing business offers. Google has appealed, and the case is still pending.
Since 2017, Google has adjusted Google Shopping to meet the European Commission’s criticisms. It has recently begun testing a new format that provides direct links to comparison shopping sites and specific product offerings from merchants. “Some comparators naturally want Google to show them more. Our data shows that people usually prefer links that lead them directly to the products they want, rather than to sites where they have to repeat the search,” Google said earlier on his blog.
European price comparators are not satisfied with the corrective measures. Seven companies have decided to defend themselves with lawsuits, and now Heureka.cz has joined them, Lupa.cz said.
“There is a three-year limitation period in the Czech Republic, which is why Heureka is filing a lawsuit now that it is about to expire. But there is no limitation period abroad so that more lawsuits will be added,” Braverman added. According to him, Heureka.cz is the only one in the Czech Republic that has sued Google.
According to Braverman, Heureka, together with other comparators, is also taking steps at the European Union level, trying to prove that the Google correction mechanism is not working and that the company continues to abuse its dominant position.
According to the partner of the law firm Taylor Wessing ČR Markéta Deimelová, the lawsuit was filed in connection with the decision of the European Commission. In this case, the fact that Google itself appealed against the conclusion of the commission and its appeal has not yet been decided by the EU Court of Justice.
“So it will be interesting to wait for his final decision. It is possible that over time other internet search engines, other companies that feel damaged in the market and would like to claim the damage may join the lawsuit,” Deimelová added.