New Members Join FairSearch.org from Travel, E-Commerce, Advertising as Worldwide Investigations into Google's Practices Continue
Today, FairSearch.org is announcing several new members:
New York City-based adMarketplace, which delivers pay-per-click advertising inventory to marketers from non-search engine sources;
- The Interactive Travel Services Association (ITSA), an online travel industry trade group devoted to eliminating barriers to growth and protecting consumers;
- Paris, France-based Twenga, an online shopping site listing more than 500 million offers from 220,000 online retailers in a searchable platform; and
- Mountain View, Calif.-headquartered ShopCity.com, which provides marketing and sales tools for independent businesses to connect with customers online.
These new members represent various parts of the Internet ecosystem that is under threat from Google’s anticompetitive business practices.
The roll-out of Google Flight Search in fall 2011 excluded links to metasearch and online travel agency sites in its results. Google said in November that airlines demanded that Google Flight Search feature links to their sites exclusively.
“We believe that Google uses its monopoly power to distort the marketplace by steering consumers away from the natural search results available for travel online,” said Joseph Rubin, President of ITSA. “Further, the online travel companies are required to provide various consumer disclosures with their listings. Our members think consumers deserve the protection of those disclosures that we provide, and that Google Flight Search in many cases does not.”
Google Flight Search threatens competition, innovation and consumer choice. To learn more about how, see for yourself.
Twenga filed a complaint with the European Commission on Monday, asking it to stop Google’s anti-competitive business and search practices, which Twenga said “undermine jobs and innovation in the European Union.”
“By systematically ranking its own offerings over links to competitors, Google uses its dominant power to hurt other businesses rather than competing fairly in the marketplace,” said Bastien Duclaux, co-founder and CEO of Twenga. “Google’s abuse of its monopoly power in search threatens the ability of innovators everywhere to reach consumers on the Internet. Google has created the conditions for an uneven playing field in which it is predetermined to always emerge as the winner.”
Another new member, ShopCity.com, filed a complaint against Google with the Federal Trade Commission in November 2011, which is investigating whether Google’s business practices violate U.S. antitrust and consumer protection laws. ShopCity began speaking out earlier this past fall.
“When a company begins competing directly with Google, in a market where they are not yet the dominant player, Google will make it very difficult to succeed,” said ShopCity.com co-founder and CEO Colin Pape. “In the process, Google harms consumers by steering them away from relevant results, solely for Google’s own financial benefit.”
Representing the direct threat Google poses to a free and fair market in online advertising, adMarketplace is another new FairSearch.org member.
“As media industry veterans, we have built a compelling search advertising network,” said James Hill, CEO of adMarketplace. “Every day, our client teams hear from potential customers and publishers that Google makes it difficult for them to work with other advertising networks. A level playing field is critical to a competitive online advertising marketplace – and that does not exist today because of Google’s practices.”
Read the full announcement.