The European Commission could force Google to improve the visibility of rivaling search engines after the software company has been accused of monopoly. Officials have spent the last two years investigating the company’s online practices to determine whether the Android maker is excessively promoting its products to the detriment of other search engines, TechCrunch informs.
The European Commission is concerned that the “vertical search” results displayed in relation to specialized domains, such as, mapping, weather and finance, may not be correct. The issue has been closely analyzed in the past two years and close sources claim officials will impose strict rules to the software company. The Commission might request the company to improve the visibility of rival specialist search services, so consumers could benefit of many more alternatives. In addition, the Android maker will have to clearly signal its products when displayed among search results to avoid misunderstandings.
The example provided by the European Commission clearly proves that Google is forcefully placing its products at the top of the search results list. They have looked for the specialized term ‘weather’ in Google and noticed that the services provided by the software company were the first to be displayed. Third party websites related to weather were placed on subsequent positions.
Placing its services on top of other websites is not the only unfair practice that Google could be using according to the Commission. Apparently, the software giant has also copied content that was incorporated into its own offerings in order to get a higher rank among search results.
A parallel investigation is being carried on in relation to Google’s advertising strategies. The European Commission has reasons to believe that the company is “shutting out competing providers of search advertising intermediation services” and making it almost impossible for other companies to promote their campaigns through other services. Google’s spokespersons revealed that the company will continue to communicate and negotiate with the European Commission to reach an agreement.