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747 days ago
 

Expedia claims unfair practices by Google in complaint to European Commission

Expedia is not only trying to put pressure on Google in the US through the FairSearch campaign, but has now opened a second front in Europe over allegations of a “violation” of competition law.

Expedia Inc filed the complaint with the European Commission on Friday last week, full details of which have yet to be disclosed.

The online travel agency says the complaint outlines “specific business and search practices” from Google that it alleges are at odds against European Union “competition and consumer protection laws”.

Expedia is urging the Commission for “strong action” against what it claims are practices which impact the wider competitive landscape as well as consumers.

This is needed to “restore a fair and competitive marketplace in online search that respects consumers’ rights”, says Expedia senior vice president of government affairs, Brent Thompson.

Although Google’s focus on the travel sector – through the launch Google Flight Search in the US with expected expansion overseas and and the continued roll-out Hotel Finder – is not mentioned specifically, Expedia probably has more than one eye on how the situation develops and the search giant’s influence over consumer travel search grows.

Google, in an emailed statement, says:

“We haven’t seen the complaint yet, but we’ve been working to explain how our business works, cooperating with the European Commission since this investigation began. Because there’s always room for improvement, we’re happy to discuss any concerns the Commission might have.”

Expedia joins the likes of Microsoft with its concerns – and subsequent complaints – over the dominance of Google in cross-vertical search.

The latest development comes just a month after US anti-Google lobbying group FairSearch (which counts Expedia and Microsoft as members, alongside Kayak and TripAdvisor) launched official operations in Europe under the guidance of Brussels-based lawyer Thomas Vinje, a high profile figure who ironically had previously spent the best part of 16 years fighting against Microsoft over accusations of anticompetitive practices in Europe.

NB: European flag image via Shutterstock.

 
 
Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May is editor and a co-founder of Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution for nearly four years and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.

He has also worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology and a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism.

 

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  1. Richard

    Its not just in travel its a blanket subtle internet destruction….

    Greedy Google,

    Employees and shareholders at Google seem to all have God Complexes. Eating free food and getting paid fat salaries, these nerds, programmers, and shareholders care nothing for the real people out there…. It is easy to click a few buttons and destroy people online. You want more money……so do it the easy way and destroy more people!

    It may happen to be a small business owner, a dedicated blogger, the little guy round the corner earning a few cents with Adsense, or someone earning a small living from affiliate programs. Down here you may be powerful with all your money and smugness,

    Mr. Greedy Google bunch, but beware there is a line that you have started crossing. The discontent is growing and you cannot still an angry lion.
    Oh dear………….. the little guy has not complied with your terms and conditions so your AUTOMATED robot canned him/her.
    Try and get this AUTOMATED decision rescinded from these God Complex employees. Bah just never happens.

    Have you been kicked in the teeth by Greedy Google at some time or another? It is going to happen sometime…….

     
  2. Oz Har Adir

    It would be interesting to see if this is as an SEO or SEM related issue. (in hotel related searches, Expedia lags Booking.com consistently in both, but I wonder which claim can they make that explains that),

     
 
 

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