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Another EU antitrust complaint filed against Google

Another EU antitrust complaint filed against Google

Google has been accused of using its market dominance to favour its job search unit. Twenty-three job listing websites have filed a complaint with the European antitrust regulator, accusing Google of using its market dominance to favour its job search unit. In a letter sent on Tuesday, the group urged the EU competition commissioner Margrethe

Another EU antitrust complaint filed against Google - this time Google's's job search service

Google has been accused of using its market dominance to favour its job search unit.

Twenty-three job listing websites have filed a complaint with the European antitrust regulator, accusing Google of using its market dominance to favour its job search unit.

In a letter sent on Tuesday, the group urged the EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager to take action against Googles job search unit and to order the company to stop operating unlawfully until she completes her investigation.

Google rolled out its job search widget about two years ago. The widget is placed at the top of results for job searches and works in a similar way to other job listing sites.

It links posts aggregated from different businesses advertising their jobs, and enables job seekers to filter and save job openings. They can also get alerts about jobs of their choice.

The European job websites, which include British site BestJobsOnline and German sites Jobindex and Intermedia, allege that the positioning of the widget is illegal as its gives Google an unfair advantage. They also complain that since the launch of the tool, they have lost a significant chunk of their market share.

According to research firm Jumpshot, Googles widget drew 120 million user clicks in June in the US alone, almost double the number when it launched in August 2017.

“Having launched its online recruitment service in Germany in May 2019, as in other EU countries (Spain, France and the UK), Google for Jobs instantly became market leader in visibility,” the companies wrote in the letter, according to Reuters.

“Google also directly offers its services to recruiters and thus fulfils the typical functions of a job board. In doing so, Google is attempting to circumvent and ultimately serve as a substitute for other job boards,” the companies said.

They also accused Google of directly approaching their customers and sourcing recruiters as key clients.

When asked to comment on this issue, Googles spokesperson told Reuters that the company was taking various steps to address feedback in Europe.

For example, the company has been testing a new choice carousel, which offers direct links to job sites as well as to job offers (if they exist on a single site). The new carousel also enables job seekers to decide which result is most relevant for them.

Google has been hit with $9.25 billion in EU fines in the last two years for thwarting its rival companies. In 2018, Google paid more money in EU fines that it did in corporate taxes.

Also last year, Vestager issued a bizarre threat to break-up Google due to “grave suspicions” about its growing dominance.

Earlier this month, the company said that it will present Android users in Europe with a choice of three alternative search engines from early 2020 in a move intended to mollify EU antitrust authorities.

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