Google taps top law firms to fight EU regulatory battles

Dhaka,  Thu,  24 August 2017
Published : 11 Jul 2017, 21:45:18
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Google taps top law firms to fight EU regulatory battles

Google has ramped up its legal firepower as it prepares to do battle with EU antitrust regulators after a landmark 2.4-billion-euro ($2.7 billion) fine and the possibility of a second record sanction before the end of the year, reports Reuters.

Alphabet unit Google, the world's most popular internet search engine, is drawing on the expertise of at least five top law firms in Brussels to help it deal with its EU regulatory troubles, people familiar with the matter said.  

The EU competition authority hit the company with a 2.4 billion euro ($2.7 billion) penalty last month for unfairly favouring its shopping service.

Antirust regulators are also weighing a record fine against Google over its Android mobile operating system and a third case involves its AdSense for Search platform.  

The Luxembourg-based General Court, Europe's second highest, will be the first battleground for Google if, as expected, it challenges the European Commission's June decision and potentially disruptive changes to its business practices.  

Cleary Gottlieb, Allen & Overy, Slaughter and May, Garrigues and White & Case have all been tapped by Google.  

Google did not immediately respond to an email for comment.  The company's decision to rely on a diverse range of lawyers makes sense because of the risks it faces, Ian Giles, a partner at London-based law firm Norton Rose Fulbright, said.  

"Given the potential penalties and damages actions it faces, Google will want to invest in the best possible defence team, and direct legal costs will be a relatively minor consideration," he said.

"There may be simple capacity reasons as to why they are sharing the workload between a number of law firms, but there is also value to seeking a second opinion, reconsidering strategy, and bringing new ideas to the table," Giles said.
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