It’s no secret that Google is a major player in the world of search, and while search engines aren’t necessarily a monopoly the phrase ‘Google it’ is far more commonly used than ‘Bing it’.
So it comes to no surprise that some brands are feeling cornered by Goolge’s dominance in the search sphere, with companies such as Yelp claiming that Google has abused its power within search. The review site has filed a complaint to the European commission claiming that Google “abused its dominance in local search” and is seeking a formal Statement of Objections, otherwise known as antitrust charges.
Yelp co-founder and CEO, Jeremy who claimed that Google was intentionally harming competition on local search further explained this claim of power abuse. It has been suggested that Google has been favouring their own sites over that of competitors. According to Yelp, Google reviews are ranked first instead of sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor without adherence to their own algorithmic guidelines.
This is not the first time Google has been accused of misconduct either. In 2017 the European antitrust authorities fined Google €2.4bn for directing consumers to their shopping platforms over their competitors, despite Google’s denial or wrongdoing.
There is no indication of what the final decision will be, but with harsher scrutiny on the digital sphere and previous history taken into consideration Google might want to start budgeting for another hefty fine.