The Google Antitrust Case Analysis
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The Google Antitrust Case Analysis


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Assessment Item 3 – Live Case Analysis  Task Description: 

 The 'Commonwealth Bank Money Laundering' Case In 2017, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia was charged with money laundering offences. Your task is to research the facts underpinning the 'Commonwealth Bank Money Laundering' Case, and to provide a written report* detailing your ethical analysis of the case. 


The 'Adidas Basketball Sponsorship' Case In 2017, Adidas was charged with fraud with regard to their sponsorship of a promising college basketball player. Your task is to research the facts underpinning the 'Adidas Basketball Sponsorship' case, and to provide a written report* detailing your ethical analysis of the case. 


The 'Google Antitrust' Case In 2017, the Google organisation was fined EU2.4 billion for breaches of European completion laws. Your task is to research the facts underpinning the 'Google Antitrust' case, and to provide a written report* detailing your ethical analysis of the case. 

Your report must include a discussion of the following:

  1. Describe the facts you feel underpinned the ethical dilemma in the case. 
  2. Who was the decision-maker in the case, and what conflicting demands did they have to accommodate?
  3. What was the initial ethical dilemma faced by the decision-maker in this case? 
  4. Using the Utilitarian, Kantian, Rights, and Distributive Justice approaches to ethical decision-making, provide an analysis of the ethical dilemma.  
  5. Present and justify the final recommendation you would have made to the decision-maker in this case had they asked you for advice on how to resolve their initial ethical dilemma.



Recently, there is growing instances of antitrust probes across the globe which is mostly aimed at innovative high-tech firms. It seems to be that beneficial innovativeness has turned into legal nightmares which have serious implications on the market competition and economic conditions. Even scriptures denote the economic effects of market power of a single entity giving rise to issues of antitrust and competition (Hawker 2004). Ethical issues arise when companies frame their business models based on the assumptions that they have to behave rationally and that they seek to maximize profits.  With the evolution of management theories, companies have ethical obligations to their competitors also (Mendoza 2016). It is evident that business ethics competes with the need of a company to earn profits.  In this report, the antitrust violation probe conducted by the European Union regulators against Google related to the misuse of its Google search engine services.


Case Facts

Google is a major service provider for the internet search across the European Economic Area (EEA). It is found to be dominant in each of the countries in the region since 2008. It is reported to have maintained a market share of over 90% consistently between the period of investigation i.e., 2009-2017 (European Commission 2017a).

Based on the investigation, it is found that Google committed abuse for its general search services in the EEA by positioning and displaying its own comparison-shopping service at a favorable position when compared to other comparison-shopping services. This conduct is considered abusive as it reduced the traffic for competing shopping services and increased the traffic to Google's own comparison-shopping service resulting in highly likely anti-competitive scenario in the EEA markets for comparison shopping and general search services. For instance, since 2008, it is estimated that Google’s comparison-shopping service has increased its traffic 45-fold in the United Kingdom, 35-fold in Germany, 29-fold in the Netherlands, 17-fold in Spain and 14-fold in Italy (Chatterjee 2017). At the same time, the rival websites encountered a drop in traffic of 85% in the United Kingdom, 92% in Germany and 80% in France, due to demotions adopted in Google’s generic search algorithms.

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