Google Abuses Market Dominance In The EU, Say Job Search Rivals

People pose with laptops in front of projection of Google logo (Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic)

About 23 job search websites in direct competition with Google's two-year-old online job seeking tool, have penned a letter detailing their antitrust complaint against the search engine giant. In general, their letter alleged that the tech giant has once again abused its position in the industry to create unfair competition against its rivals.

More specifically, Google was accused of intentionally pushing them down the search results in favor of job websites it worked with for the tool.   

The letter, which was yet to be sent but was exclusively seen by Reuters,  is addressed to European Union competition commissioner Margarethe Vestager.

The signatories in the letter included Best Jobs Online, Intermedia, and Jobindex. They would like the EU commission to investigate Google and once proven of the alleged malpractice should be followed with a formal lawsuit. 

At the center of the issue is a widget launched by Google in 2017 in the United States and subsequently rolled out in the United Kingdom in 2018. The widget appealed to as many as 120 million online users for its ease of use and its strategic listing style which included salaries for the jobs being posted.     

Of most striking is that Google only lists a job website if it can follow the style requirements and guidelines set. The guidelines are not particularly set for any significant goal apart from making it easy for Google's system to find the listings. 

While many job search sites followed through the requirements, many were also frustrated. One of them is Zippia CEO Henry Shao who believed that Google "pushes down" the website since he cannot invest further to meet Googles guidelines. 

Interestingly, even with Google already being pegged as the giant of all giants in the search engine market, it is only the third-largest among job providers online. Nevertheless, individuals who applied through the website have three times more chances of getting hired.

The letter has yet to be delivered to Vestager, who, unfortunately, is planning to leave the position by October. 

This was not the first time that Google is embroiled with antitrust complaints coming from the EU. There had been three separate antitrust investigations involving Google and its alleged violation of the EU's competition laws. The formal charges involved accusations of malpractice by Google Shopping, Google AdSense, and Android. 

In March this year, Google's parent company Alphabet Inc was ordered to pay about $1.7 billion or 1.49 billion euros in the case involving its AdSense services. This was on top, of the 6.7 billion euros penalty for the case related to Android and the 2.4 billion euros related to Google Shopping. 

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