6 years 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.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



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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…….

    • J

      Richard I think you hit the nail right on the head with a few of your statements concerning google’s dominance along the search engine path.

      I have a great respect for the Google search engine product & quality of its results, platforms, and biz apps. However, they have to much power and a monopoly over search and data transmissions as more than 70% of traffic traverse through its servers at any given time.

      This allows Google to manipulate and steer traffic towards its profitable ppc & ads networks to businesses that are the highest bidders which naturally will be the larger multimillion corporations, muscling out small businesses out of search results & ppc ads. Of course Google will be the sitting on top watching it all unfold like a paidoff referee.

      There’s a reason the government regulated telco’s like Att and power companies as their inventions became commonplace in the U.S. society they also impacted anti trust laws. The Internet in my eyes is not far from being a utility and could use some regulation to ensure fairness across the board and borders. Googles digital dominance need to be checked & monitored to ensure fair competition protect people small companies against antitrust & collusion of large corporations & the wealthy individuals who benefit from Google practices.

      Jarrell Owner
      webdesign, marketing, and payment solutions

  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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