Google Faces an Accusation of Unfair Competition

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Expedia and Tripadvisor, as well as tourism company unions, accuse Google of unfair competition.

“Abuse of dominant position”. This is what Google is – once again – accused of. Last week, the Expedia and Tripadvisor platforms, as well as several tourism company unions, accused Google of unfair competition in a letter addressed to the European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager. 34 companies and six tourism company unions from ten countries have signed this letter.

In the statement, the organizations complain that the American giant could abuse its dominant position in online searching in order to promote its own service: in this case, holiday rentals. “We are currently witnessing an attempt by Google to expand its dominance in the online search for holiday rentals,” writes the signatory companies. The European Commission and Google declined to comment.

Last week’s letter was released two days before the long-awaited hearings before European justice in Luxembourg in a similar case, which Google is appealing. The American giant was fined 2.4 billion euros in 2017 by the European Commission for favoring Google Shopping, its house price comparison service, to the detriment of its rivals.

A 67-page complaint was also filed with the European Commission in March 2019 by a company based in Germany, whose name has been withheld. The letter shows all decision-makers how important it is for the digital economy to decide on the question of whether or not to promote its own services. The latter represents two plaintiffs in the case of Google Shopping, as well as the company that filed a complaint in the case of the holiday rental websites last spring.

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