European Law Firm of the Year – Highly Commended

Source: The Lawyer European Awards 2018

"I had made the same request from over 20 law firms in the past 15 years and your law firm made the most comprehensive and best analysis, in a timely fashion and very well written."

Source: Equity Partner with leading U.S. law firm

“Cooperation with you and MPR team is a true blessing because you are the best!”

Source: Regional legal counsel with global technology company

"I was very impressed with you and your team. My thanks to everyone for a job most excellently done."

Source: Partner with London office of large international law firm

"This is a go-to firm for M&A deals."

Source: IFLR 1000

“Impressive use of technology, and a solid international client base”

Source: Judges of The Lawyer European Awards 2018

"You did really a great job. The organization, the structure and the speed was perfect."

Source: Director with German transport & logistics group

"They are all excellent lawyers"

Source: IFLR 1000 (2018)

"They provide quality and business friendly input"

Source: IFLR 1000 (2018)

"Their knowledge and services are excellent"

Source: IFLR 1000 (2018)

"They have an excellent reputation in the healthcare field"

Source: IFLR 1000 (2018)

"They are cost efficient and very professional"

Source: IFLR 1000 (2018)

"A trustful, reliable and very competent law firm"

Source: GC of a global automotive supplier

"Recognised internationally for the great quality of its services"

Source: Judges of The Lawyer European Awards 2017

"They are quick, thorough and pro-business, very determined, innovative and friendly."

Source: IFLR 1000

The Lawyer European Awards 2018

Source: Law Firm of the Year: Eastern Europe and the Balkans

EU Google Shopping Order Reinforces Self-Preferencing Fight

European Union antitrust enforcers scored their first court victory on Wednesday in the fight against what they call anti-competitive practices by major technology companies, providing momentum for global efforts to stop Google and potentially its peers from using their dominance over tech platforms to keep competitors at bay.

The European Union’s General Court ruling almost entirely upheld the European Commission’s 2017 decision to fine Google for its practice of prominently featuring its Google Shopping comparison service in search results while relegating competing services to spots often several pages deep.

Alina Popescu, a founding partner of Romanian law firm MPR Partners, commented:

In today’s decision, the General Court resorts to the concept of “self-preferencing” as a theory of harm in its own right under EU competition law. Self-preferencing occurs where a company which is dominant (namely, holding a significant amount of power) on a certain market, uses the same to favour its own products/affiliates present on a neighbouring market. The General Court agreed with the European Commission that Google had abused its dominant position on the general searches market by favouring its own specialised search services (comparison shopping services). In reaching this conclusion, it has found amongst others that there were no objective justifications for Google to do so, and that, in any case, Google had not demonstrated any efficiencies arising from that practice that could compensate for its adverse effects on competition.

The decision is based on the EU law prohibition of abuses of dominance, where the dominance is not harmful in and of itself but becomes so where the dominant company harms its competitors by abnormal practices that would not be possible or harmful but for such company’s market power. There are many forms of abuses and the list remains open, but self-preferencing is a relatively new theory of harm which has only recently started to be used, with the development of big tech and the growing opposition against some of their practices. Self-preferencing is also a target for the EU’s Digital Markets Act, which prohibits this practice when perpetrated by companies deemed as “gatekeepers”. Whilst the Digital Markets Act is still undergoing enactment, the theory of harm used by the European Commission, as vetted by the General Court, as well as the existing climate surrounding big tech and the conclusions of the various market studies commissioned in relation to the development of digital markets legislation will likely serve as a deterrent to big tech against similar practices.”

Alina’s comments were featured in an article published in Law360.


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