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BREAKING: Munich I Regional Court orders preliminary injunction against Google over antitrust violation in health information context

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The Landgericht München I (Munich I Regional Court) has just handed down a landmark antitrust ruling against Google: the court’s 37th Civil Chamber (Presiding Judge: Dr. Gesa Lutz) prohibited a partnership between Google and the German Federal Ministry of Health under which Google gives a health information portal (gesund.bund.de) prominent exposure among Google’s search results, thereby disadvantaging private-sector health information providers such as the plaintiff in this case, NetDoktor.de, a subsidiary of the Hubert Burda Media conglomerate.

The unholy alliance in question was formed last year in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Google can and presumably will appeal this preliminary injunction to the Oberlandesgericht München (Munich Higher Regional Court).

I will try to obtain a copy of the decision and translate it here later.

In a recent post on Google’s inexplicable approval of the “official” app of a coronavirus lockdown offender group I already mentioned the NetDoktor case. My own app development company recently brought antitrust complaints in half a dozen jurisdictions against Google’s (and Apple’s) rules concerning COVID-related apps. The Android situation is even worse than the one on the search engine: on Android, app developers like my company are completely barred from using COVID-related keywords, as opposed to merely giving preferential treatment to governmental entities. Yesterday Google updated its COVID app rules, but the changes Google made do nothing to alleviate my competition concerns, and today’s Munich decision shows that monopolists can’t just disadvantage (much less exclude from the market, as is the case on Android) private-sector offerings.

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View the original article here: BREAKING: Munich I Regional Court orders preliminary injunction against Google over antitrust violation in health information context

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