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FT: New Complaint Alleges Google "Economically Killed" 1plusV

As the Justice Department weighs whether Google’s proposed acquisition of ITA Software will lessen competition in online travel search, French search engine company 1plusV announced today it has filed a new complaint with the European Commission, alleging that since 2007, Google has “economically killed” three niche vertical search engines it ran, the Financial Times reports.

Versailles, France-based 1plusV said its Ejustice.fr site was attracting 1.5 million hits per month for a search engine focused on sites about law and justice before repeatedly being delisted by Google (irony alert!), the company said.

1plusV filed a new complaint this morning with the European Commission, which is already investigating “whether the search company gave preferential treatment to its own services when ranking search results and discriminated against competitors,” FT’s Nikki Tait and Richard Waters report.

According to the article, 1plusV alleges that Google retaliated against other sites it owned after Ejustice.fr filed a complaint with the European Commission last year.

This new complaint, and the European Commission investigation underscore major FairSearch concerns about the proposed Google-ITA deal – that Google will use its dominance in general search and search advertising to give preference to its own travel product above all competitors, and if allowed to acquire ITA Software, be in a position to hurt competing online travel search providers.

That’s why FairSearch continues to urge the DOJ to challenge the Google-ITA deal.