Abuse of dominant position
TripAdvisor files Google complaint
By Sophie Mosca | Tuesday 03 April 2012
The number of anti-trust complaints against Google has now risen to 13. The online travel organiser TripAdvisor has lodged a complaint with the European Commission against the American search engine giant for abuse of dominant position in the EU and discrimination in its ranking of search results. The new online Flight Search service, launched by Google in September 2011, is at the heart of this case. It allegedly places its own services at the top of the results list and excludes all links to other online travel agencies, thus preventing consumers from comparing offers, in spite of commitments made by Google to gain approval to buy the ITA software needed to offer the service.
“We hope that the Commission will take prompt corrective action to ensure a healthy and competitive online environment that will foster innovation across the internet,” reads a TripAdvisor statement. Its grievances are similar to those addressed to the Commission by Expedia (see
Flight Search, which initially covered only American airports, is being extended to flights to other countries, including the EU member states. This explains the complaint to the Commission. Another 12 complaints against the giant from Mountain View,California, are under review.
Google, which has not yet seen the complaint, “will continue to discuss these concerns with the Commission since there is always room for improvement,” commented Al Verney, a spokesman for the firm in Brussels.
Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia hinted at a press conference that the decision on Google would be taken after Easter.