It’s tough being one of the biggest companies in the world; everyone wants a piece of you, and if you’re Google, everyone wants to sue you.
Google’s latest misfortune comes in the form of a lawsuit from French search engine 1PlusV, who are suing the big G to the tune of 295 million euros ($417.7 million). 1PlusV believe that Google have been using their dominance or monopoly over the search engine market to make it harder for smaller websites to be successful.
However, it’s not just the French company that feels this way; four other companies including Microsoft have accused Google of abusing its position as market leader. With Google being the most used search engine in the world, they can rate and rank sites and search results how they like, thus changing how you get search results when you “Google” something.
Microsoft say that Google has used its powers to demote other search sites, instead showing more of its own services at the top of a Google search results page. Microsoft and 1PlusV’s commotion has prompted the start of an investigation by the European Commission.
1PlusV believe that Google have acted in an unfair and unjust manner by demoting their site within Google search results. They even say that Google has “crippled their ability to generate business and advertising”.
“Between 2007 and 2010, no less than 30 vertical search engines created by 1plusV were black-listed, some of which showed significant business potential,” said a spokesperson for 1PlusV.
It is believed that Google have done so by forcing rival search engines to adopt its Adsense advertising technology. If other search engines want to generate traffic to their own website through Google searches, they have to buy “keywords” from Google, something which is tied in with Adsense.
Google were served notice of the claim this Monday, and Reuters reports that court proceedings will begin next Tuesday or Wednesday.