Foundem FCC Filing Documents Google search network discrimination; Window into EU-Google antitrust case

February 24, 2010

Foundem, a UK vertical search competitor to Google, documents serial anticompetitive discrimination on Google’s search network, in a data-driven filing to the FCC in the FCC’s Open Internet regulation proceeding.

  • It is logical that the data-driven analysis in Foundem’s public FCC filing is an integral part of Foundem’s antitrust case against Google, which Foundem recently submitted to the EU, but which has not been released yet.
  • Therefore, Foundem’s FCC filing may be the best publicly available window into what the EU investigation of Google’s anticompetitive practices entails.

In essence, the Foundem filing accuses Google of monopolistic self-dealing and bundling.

  • Foundem co-founder Shivaun Raff told the UK Register: “They’re turning an ostensibly neutral search engine into an incredibly powerful marketing channel for their own services.”
  • In other words, the filing shows that Google’s search network, non-neutrally and anticompetitively produces search results that allow Google to leverage its dominance in search advertising to self deal:
    • i.e. reward qualitatively inferior Google products and services with Google’s highest search ranking,
    • While punishing qualitatively superior products and services of Google’s competitors with relatively lower search rankings than Google’s.
  • The filing’s data from ComScore shows how Google anticompetitively discriminates against MapQwest in favor of Google Maps and how Google’s Product Search anticompetively discriminates against Foundem, Shopping.com, Shopzilla.com, Nextag.com among many others.
  • This is all in the context of Google representing to the public in its corporate business web page “Ten Things” about Google:
    • We never manipulate rankings to put our partners higher in our search results and no one can buy better PageRank. Our users trust our objectivity and no short-term gain could ever justify breaching that trust.”
    • Well the Foundem filing shows persuasively that Google in fact does routinely rank Google-owned products and services above its competitors offerings regardless of merit.
    • That on its face is manipulating search results.

The big deal here is the data-driven analysis that the FCC and antitrust authorities focus on.

  • The filing presents eleven charts representing eleven different data series that clearly show how Google’s Universal Search is not neutral in that it “blends” the top ranking of Google-owned products and services with ostensibly organic (supposedly neutral) algorithmic search results.
  • The correlations in the data series are compelling and replicable by the EU and the U.S. DOJ, because they come from a third party data set — ComScore’s.
  • The data also prove that Google’s representations that its search network is neutral and never manipulated are patently false and misleading to the public in order to engender user trust of Google that is not warranted on the facts.

In sum, there is now new data-driven evidence in the public domain that shows Google is anticompetitively abusing its dominant market position and is deceptively misrepresenting that its search results are neutral, when the facts from respected third-parties show they are not.

Moreover, with news reports indicating that there is a French company (ejustice.FR) also filing an antitrust case against Google, in addition to this new Foundem case, it is becoming incontrovertible that Google’s antitrust liabilities are growing and proliferating.

For more research and information on Google’s antitrust liabilities see the links below or go to my Precursor LLC sister sites: www.GoogleMonitor.com or www.Googleopoly.net.

***

 

A. Google’s proliferating antitrust liabilities series:

  • Part II:”Another antitrust lawsuit against Google — myTrigger”
  • Part I: Google faces three antitrust cases in Germany

B. Googleopoly Series:

 

  • Why Google is a monopoly: “Presenting the case before the Federalist Society”
  • Googleopoly V: “Why the FTC should block Google-AdMob”
  • Googleopoly IV: “How Google extends its search monopoly to monopsony over digital information”
  • Googleopoly III: “Dependency: The crux of the Google-Yahoo ad agreement problem”
  • Googleopoly II: “Google’s Predatory Playbook to Thwart Competition”
  • Googleopoly I: “The Google-DoubleClick anticompetitive case”

 

 

C. Google’s antitrust Pinocchio series:

  • Part I: What is “One click away?
  • Part II: Google: Antitrust’s Pinocchio?
  • Part III: “Google-AdMob: ‘Its too new to dominate'”

 

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