Claim for an injunction and damages in respect of an alleged abuse of dominance contrary to Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and/or section 18 of the Competition Act 1998.
The Applicants/Claimants are companies in the Unlockd group which have developed software applications for users of smartphones operating on the Android operating system. The Respondents/Defendants are companies in the Google group which is a technology group earning revenue from online advertising.
All the issues in the proceedings, save for a claim for declaratory relief, were transferred from the High Court to the Tribunal by Order of Mr Justice Roth dated 14 May 2018 (as amended on 7 June 2018) (the “Transfer Order”).
The Transfer Order directed an expedited trial of the preliminary issues of abuse and objective justification, on the assumption, made for the purposes of those issues, that the undertaking of which the Respondents/Defendants are part, i.e. Google, is dominant on each of the markets identified in the Particulars of Claim.
Upon the Tribunal being informed on 13 June 2018 that the First Applicant/Claimant entered into voluntary administration on 12 June 2018, a case management conference listed for 18 June 2018 at 10.30am was vacated.
The original trial date in September 2018 was also vacated and the existing disclosure obligation stayed by consent. A case management conference was held on 15 October 2018 at which a stay was granted. The proceedings are stayed until 18 March 2019.