Google “deploys tactics that mislead consumers”
Google poses a serious threat to consumers and the principles of fair competition in its search services, say a growing number of travel companies. The latest to mount an attack by filing a complaint with the EU Competition Commissioner is TripAdvisor, following similar concerns voiced by Expedia and Lastminute.com.
Matthew Crummack, CEO of Lastminute.com, released a statement saying that calling for a full investigation into Google’s practices on travel, including flight and hotel searches. Hotel and restaurant review sites compete with Google Places, which also lists reviews and local businesses. OTAs add that the search engine giant has violated European law since it introduced a flight-search service last year.
“When a company of Google’s scale and undeniable market dominance deploys tactics that mislead consumers and works to exclude competition in vertical search services, it poses a very serious threat to consumers and the principles of fair competition,” Crummack said.
TripAdvisor: “We hope that the commission takes prompt corrective action to ensure a healthy and competitive online environment that will foster innovation across the internet.”
Google says it is working with the European Commission on how its business works.
[pictured: Students in Sweden; photo by Sofia Sabel/imagebank.sweden.se]