165 companies ask Europe to put a stop to the excessive power of Google

165 companies ask Europe to put a stop to the excessive power of Google

US, British and European companies write to the European Antitrust to ask for an intervention in web services practices

(Photo: Getty Images) Google again at the center of the controversy for its dominant position in research on the Internet . As reported by Reuters, a group of 165 international companies offering various web services have sent a joint letter to the European Antitrust to ask for a quick and severe intervention to curb Big G's anti-competitive practices.

Yes deals with US, British and European companies, which in their request sent to the executive vice president of the Commission, Margrethe Vestager, report in particular that the Mountain View giant is taking advantage of its dominant position in the search engine sector to promote its services at the expense of of those offered by other platforms and companies, especially in the travel, job offers or hotel booking sectors.

The accusation is not new. In the past, individual platforms had reported unfair practices by Google in favoring some results over others on the basis of agreements between the companies. But this is the first time that such a large number of companies have moved together to ask for an intervention.

Overall, there are 165 companies, which offer various online services, and about thirty trade associations. And among the companies are, for example, platforms such as the American reservation service Yelp, the travel booking portals Expedia and Trivago, or the British price comparators Kelkoo and Foundem, many of which have always been quite critical of Google's practices. on search results.

At the center of the controversy this time is the use of the boxes that the search engine uses to group the results, the so-called OneBoxes. According to the companies, "through the exclusive use of OneBoxes, Google keeps users within its search service and prevents them from visiting competing and often more relevant services", reports Reuters.

The companies petitioners ask the European competition authorities to intervene as soon as possible to regulate this framework, because the new rules to limit anti-competitive behavior provided for by the Digital Markets Act under discussion in Brussels would take too long to be operational.

For its part, the Commission, which is working on a package of rules to limit the weight of big tech in Europe, will present a first draft of the proposal at the beginning of December. It should also be remembered that the European antitrust, always under the leadership of Margrethe Vestager, in the past has imposed on Google a series of fines for 8.25 billion euros in relation to various issues, including precisely those relating to anti-competitive behavior in ' in the field of online searches.

A spokesperson for Mountain View replies to the accusations: “People expect from Google the most relevant and quality search results, results they can trust. They do not expect us to give preference to specific companies or between commercial competitors, nor to stop offering useful services that allow greater choice and competition in Europe. "

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