Tuesday, November 24

165 competitors demand clearer antitrust action from EU

Margrethe Vestager is expected to spearhead a repeat antitrust offense against Google. A group of 165 companies and industrialists in fact demand clear action from the EU against the Californian giant, once again accused of promoting its own services in the results of its search engine.

Google search at the heart of a new antitrust action against the Californian giant, accused of favoring its services in the results

Google search at the heart of a new antitrust action against the Californian giant, accused of promoting its services in the results // Gamesdone: Unsplash / Solen Feyissa

« While we compete with each other to provide the best consumer experience, we have a common competitor that does not compete fairly: Google», Explains a group of 165 competitors of Google (135 companies and 30 industrial associations) in a joint letter sent last Thursday to the European competition commissioner, the Danish Margrethe Vestager.

This league made up of American and British groups and from 21 member countries of the European Union is calling for clear and firm measures against Google, accused once again of using the results of its search engine to promote its own services … to the detriment of its competitors’ offers. Unfair competition, according to the complainants.

Google would benefit “unjustified advantages»Thanks to its OneBoxes inserts

« Google enjoys unwarranted advantages by treating its own services preferentially in its general search results pages, which display various forms of specialized and grouped search results, known as OneBoxes.», Details the missive, the contents of which could be consulted by the British press agency Reuters.

Central object of the scolding, these OneBoxes are neither more nor less than the inserts displayed by Google at the top of the page to complete the results of a search and to offer, for example, direct access to its aggregator of job offers, or search for flights on Google Flights. These inserts are however supplemented in France by shortcuts to the services of competing sites.

Examples of OneBoxes displayed in the top results of a Google search for a theft or job search

« With this exclusive use of OneBoxes, Google artificially keeps users in its own service and prevents them from visiting more relevant competing services.», Nevertheless considers the joint letter addressed to Margrethe Vestager. The latter urges the competition commissioner to act promptly to force Google to offer OneBoxes that would include offers from competing platforms.

« Many of us may not have the strength and resources to wait for such regulations to actually take effect.Support the signatories of the missive, including Yelp, Expedia, Trivago, Kelkoo, StepStone and Foundem. These companies had already helped trigger the EU’s investigation into Google Shopping, Reuters said.

Google, usual posture

For its part, Google sticks to its usual posture when accused of promoting its services in the results of its search engine. “People expect Google to provide them with the most relevant, high-quality search results they can trust“, Declared a spokesperson for the American giant contacted by the British media. “They don’t expect us to prefer certain companies or business rivals to others, or to stop launching useful services that offer more choice and competition to Europeans. », lit-on.

The European Commission, for its part, told Reuters that the letter had been received and that it would be answered in due course.

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