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FairSearch Urges European Commission to Make Google Proposal Public, Proposal Reinforces Google’s Dominant Position Instead of Remedying Problems

Statement attributable to Thomas Vinje, FairSearch legal counsel and spokesman.

The proposal has not been made public, but from what has been reported it appears that this solution may be worse for consumers and competitors than doing nothing at all.

To redress Google’s abuse of its dominant position, the proposed commitments reportedly would charge competing “vertical search engines” to display (for example) their travel, accommodation or flight services on a results page in a position where consumers will notice.  But Google’s own vertical search services will maintain preeminent positions on the search page and will not have to pay for placement.

This combination of payment and secondary placement will merely reinforce Google’s dominant position at the expense of competitors, pricing them out of the market and reducing consumer choice.

FairSearch urges the Commission not to accept Google’s third proposal on good faith, but to make it public so that it can be subjected to testing which will reveal its actual effects on the market, competitors and consumers.