Saturday, September 23, 2023

Google faces £7bn legal claim over anti-competitive search engine practices - Yahoo Canada Shine On

Last updated Thursday, September 7, 2023 11:02 ET , Source: NewsService

Google is the subject of a new multibillion-pound legal claim in the UK which accuses the tech giant of shutting out competition in mobile search and driving up prices for consumers as a result.

The claim, filed with the Competition Appeal Tribunal, is seeking around 7 billion in damages for UK consumers.

It accuses the company of breaking competition law by using its dominance of the search engine market to raise the prices paid by advertisers for prominence on Google search pages, with these higher fees ultimately passed on to consumers, who are then charged higher prices for the goods and services they buy.

In addition, the claim says Google has abused its dominance in the sector by tying its Search app with other services; for example, requiring smartphone manufacturers to install Search on to their devices in order to access the Google Play app store.

It also points to Google paying Apple to ensure Google search was the default search engine on Apple devices as an example of the firm abusing its position in the market.

The claim, which has been filed by consumer champion Nikki Stopford, argues that almost every consumer in the UK has been affected by Google’s actions, because of the company’s importance as an advertising platform.

The UK’s competition watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has previously expressed concerns over the dominance of Google in the mobile search advertising space, and has an ongoing investigation open into suspected...

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