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Oliver Bethell


Director, EMEA Competition, Google

RULEBREAKER No. 2

For those following Google’s antitrust battles with Brussels, 2022 has all the makings of a bumper — and potentially expensive — year, and one in which Oliver Bethell will be front and center of the debate. Google’s director of competition for Europe, the Middle East and North Africa will have his work cut out for him.

The U.S. tech giant has several scuffles with EU competition czar Margrethe Vestager, currently playing out across European courts, including a ruling due from the EU General Court in September over a record €4.3 billion fine over the Android operating system.

Google also has two new EU antitrust cases to fend off, as well as scrutiny from Germany’s Federal Cartel Office and fresh probes in the Netherlands over abusive terms for the Google Play store. And that’s not even mentioning new rules recently adopted in the Digital Markets Act.

A 14-year qualified barrister, Bethell is responsible for shepherding Google’s EMEA competition team through the highs and lows of the various challenges faced by the company in this field, working alongside the company’s general counsel on big antitrust cases, and adopting strategic decisions on how the company responds to the changing regulatory winds in the digital competition landscape.

Google no doubt has a firm pair of hands at the wheel; Bethell has received several honors for his work, including two awards in 2018 for Competition Individual of the Year as part of the Global Counsel Awards and the European Counsel Awards. He was also recognized as Corporate Counsel of the Year at Global Competition Review’s 2012 ceremony.

What to watch out for this year: Bethell will likely engage with high-level officials, policymakers and economists across Europe this year, making the case for innovation as a means of fostering greater competition.

What’s their superpower: Having the ability to marry firm legal experience with a valuable charisma when breaking bread with influential regulators.

Influence score: 19/30

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