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Kenyan Company Catches Google in the Act of Being "Evil"

The members of FairSearch.org have always said we welcome more competition in the marketplace – that’s what drives more innovation, more choices and lower prices for consumers. We believe in competition on the merits.

That’s why we object when a monopoly player, like Google, instead tries to leverage its market power to limit competition and boost its position in new markets.

But if a recent blog post from Kenya-based online business directory Mocality is accurate, then Google has just taken its anticompetitive behavior to an entirely new level.

The story is quickly making its way around the web, picked up by Business Insider, BoingBoing, TechCrunch and The Next Web, among others.

Here’s the gist: Mocality, the leading Kenyan online business directory according to TechCrunch, discovered that Google was misrepresenting a partnership between the companies to siphon business away from the Kenyan search engine:

“Google Kenya employees were apparently calling up businesses they found on Mocality, trying to get them to sign up for a competing product by lying about a partnership with Mocality that was supposedly in place, and spreading misinformation about Mocality’s business model.”

Trust us, it’s worth reading Mocality CEO Stefan Magdalinski’s post in its entirety.

Google has issued the following statement on the matter:

“We’re aware that a company in Kenya has accused us of using some of their publicly available customer data without permission. We are investigating the matter and will have more information as soon as possible.”

We’ll be watching closely to see how this develops.

READ: “Google, what were you thinking?” (Mocality Blog)