Is Google taking things too far? Their expansion is getting disturbing.
Google has been using its dominant position in online search to muscle its way into other Internet businesses, ultimately limiting consumer choice, Consumer Watchdog said today in a report written for its new Inside Google Website.
The nonprofit, nonpartisan consumer group is sending the report to U.S. and European antitrust regulators.
The Inside Google study found that since adopting “Universal Search,” which favors Google’s properties with prominent listings in its results, traffic to Google’s sites has soared at the expense of competitors. The controversial search practice was launched in 2007.
“Google claims that its search is neutral,” said John M. Simpson, consumer advocate with the group. “This study shows that it’s not and demonstrates the damaging impact Google’s unfair practices have had on competitors.”
Consumer Watchdog will give the Inside Google study, “Traffic Report: How Google is Squeezing out Competitors and Muscling Into New Markets,” to U.S. Justice Department and European Commission antitrust officials.
The study of Internet traffic data for more than 100 popular websites since 2007 revealed Google’s dramatic gains. In the most comprehensive study of its kind to date, Inside Google obtained three years of Internet traffic data from the respected web metrics firm Experian Hitwise. The data allowed an analysis of Google’s business practices and performance that is unprecedented in scope.
What do you think?