FairSearch - for the right result

FairSearch: Setting the Record Straight

8 March 2018 – FairSearch is a group of companies, large and small, that share a concern about Google’s abuse of dominance. Our decisions have always been made by consensus and any claim to the contrary is plain wrong. (For a list of our members see the EU Transparency Register here)

A Brussels-based website wrote a story in February 2018 based mostly on a public filing we made to establish in 2013 a legal entity, an “AISBL” or international non-profit association under Belgian law – several years after FairSearch was created in October 2010. The AISBL gave Fairsearch a legal personality which was required to enable it to participate in legal proceedings. Its two directors, the minimum number under Belgian law, are employees of two of our member companies.

The above-mentioned story extrapolated from our filing that these two companies run FairSearch. It dismissed statements by us and our members that we make decisions together, and chose neither to believe nor quote them.

Take as an example a statement by Foundem, one of our original members, which on 13 February 2018, three days before the story was first published, submitted the following statement:

“Foundem has been a member of FairSearch since its origins in the US. Any suggestion that FairSearch’s activities are directed by one or two companies, rather than by the consensus of its members, would be wrong. It is regrettable that Politico didn’t reach out to Foundem when preparing this story, either as part of its enquiries or for comment.”

Moreover, as FairSearch said in our own 13 February 2018 statement, which the publication also failed to print:

“The story is plain wrong; we stand by our filings. The quality of FairSearch’s work speaks for itself. This story is a distraction from what is truly at issue here: Google has been found guilty of abuses of its dominant position in search by European Union authorities, along with other jurisdictions around the world. Today investigations continue against Google with respect to other alleged abusive business practices in the areas of advertising, the Android operating system, and privacy.”