Is Google fair? Over the last year, the company’s business practices have been put into question after several companies spoke out against it as well as the government investigation of it. FairSearch, which is a coalition of companies, is one organization that has been especially vocal against Google.
As Ben Hammer explained to WebProNews, the organization is made up of several companies including Microsoft, Expedia, and TripAdvisor, and it believes that Google is a search monopoly.
“The question that our group is focused on is, now that authorities in the U.S., in the European Union, and around the world have already established that Google has monopoly power in search on the Internet, is Google violating the law by abusing that power in ways that sort of tilt the playing field to itself and basically restrict the options that consumers on the Internet have to find information, and then also get all the benefits that come with competition on the Internet?” he pointed out.
FairSearch began after Google announced that it was going to acquire ITA Software and make developments in the travel industry. Hammer told us that, because Google owns more than 60 percent of the search market share, it should be held to a “higher standard.”
“One of the sort of principles of competition and consumer law is that, once a company gains monopoly power in a market, they have undue influence over everything that happens in that market,” he said. “Only with that kind of power can you then do certain things that disadvantage everyone else in a way that competition and innovation and consumer benefits can be upended permanently.”
Hammer told us that, if authorities find its claims against Google to be true, FairSearch would like to see action taken that stops it.
WebProNews reached out to Google for its response to FairSearch and received the following statement from a spokesperson:
“Most people understand that Microsoft and our other competitors complain constantly about Google, but they also know that Google builds our search results for users, not websites, and that the laws are designed to protect consumers, not competitors. The fundamental openness of the Internet means that consumers have infinite choices and can always switch to Bing, Facebook, Kayak, or Expedia with just one click.”
Do you agree with FairSearch’s claims? We’d love to know.