Today, Bloomberg News reported that TripAdvisor filed a complaint with the European Commission detailing “anti-competitive and unfair practices by Google that harm the marketplace and consumer welfare,” the online travel company said.
On Friday, Reuters reported that Expedia filed a complaint last week with the European Commission that “offers evidence of how Google’s conduct harms not only competition, but consumers,” a spokesman said.
TripAdvisor said in a statement, “We hope that the commission takes prompt corrective action to ensure a healthy and competitive online environment that will foster innovation across the Internet.”
Several European companies and organizations have stepped up to echo the concerns raised by the two companies.
UK travel site LastMinute.com told Global Competition Review: “When a company of Google’s scale and undeniable market dominance deploys tactics that mislead consumers and work to exclude competition in vertical search services, it poses a very serious threat to consumers and the principles of fair competition. This calls for a full investigation into Google’s practices on the travel verticals.”
A LastMinute.com spokesperson told Global Competition Review, “We are very concerned by these issues and whilst we’ve not filed a complaint, we are considering our options in line with our own timetable.”
In an online statement, the European Technology & Travel Services Association (ETTSA) offered its support for the filings, saying: “Google’s dominance of the online search landscape to the potential detriment of consumers has prompted ETTSA to throw its full support behind a complaint filed with the European Commission by its member Expedia. This complaint highlights the risks to transparency, choice and fair competition posed by Google’s recent actions.”
These two most recent complaints add to the growing concerns that Google is abusing its dominance in search and search advertising. It’s time to protect consumers and preserve competition online.