Google: Making Friends Everywhere

January 26, 2020

Would it surprise anyone if Google alters search results to favor itself? Nope! Reuters explains that Europe is once again fed up with Google’s shenanigans, so “Axel Springer Unit, Others Say Google Still Playing Unfairly, Want EU To Act.” Axel Springer owns the shopping comparison Web site Idealo and it has teamed with forty other companies to accuse Google of altering search. The companies want the European Union to enforce a ruling against Google.

The claimants are pressuring European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager to enforce an order she made two years ago for Google to stop favoring its own price comparison shopping service. Axel Springer and its forty allies claim Google continues to alter search results, stealing potential customers from them. Google has not complied with Vestager’s order, when the company was also fined $2.65 billion (2.4 billion euros). Google claimed it would allow competitors to bid for advertising space at the top of a search page to even the odds, but Web site traffic has not increased for the claimants.

Google has a monopoly on shopping that Amazon does not have, but what about the smaller companies?

“Thomas Hoppner, a lawyer for Idealo said most of the signatories were voicing their frustrations for the first time. ‘The letter demonstrates a united front of genuine comparison shopping services against Google’s attempt to present measures as a “compliance mechanism,’ he said. Earlier this month, Vestager voiced concerns about the lack of significant traffic to Google’s competitors, rowing back on previous comments about the positive impact of the auctions.”

Google says the competition has increased for their ad space auctions, which would explain why these price comparison services are not getting much service. Google will probably do what it can to avoid paying more fines and angering world governments, but all it has to do is grease a few palms to continue its monopolies.

Whitney Grace, January 26, 2020


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