Tech giant Google has been accused of squeezing out rival search engines due to fears that it would “lose relevance” based on recently released internal emails.
The Telegraph reports that tech giant Google alleged forced out rival search engines due to fears that it would “lose relevance” according to leaked internal emails. Messages between company executives suggest that the company developed its own comparison search engines for flights, hotels, and shopping despite knowing that their systems would not be as accurate and efficient as Expedia.com and other dedicated travel sites.
The emails which form part of the House Judiciary’s investigation into Google’s parent company Alphabet over antitrust allegations show that Google was regularly chasing businesses that were popular on its search engine to remain relevant with its users. Google feared that it may not always be the first port of call for users searching online, according to emails dated between 2005 and 2012.
Some of the businesses discussed in the emails now allege that Google told them to hand over data, agree to be purchased or face being removed from Google Search entirely. One email from a Google executive from 2010 reads: “Vertical [niche company sectors, like travel] search is of tremendous strategic importance to Google. Otherwise, the risk is that Google is the go-to place for finding information only in the cases where there is sufficiently low monetization potential that no niche vertical search competitor has skilled the space with a better alternative.”
Executives admitted that Google could not compete with Amazon in terms of shopping but believed that verticals such as travel and car sales were areas that they could compete in. One executive said that Google should “form teams to go after verticals,” like travel in an email from 2005. Another executive noted that Google could lose traffic and ad revenue if sites such as Expedia became the one-stop-shop for travel queries.
Many other companies such as Yelp allege that Google attempted to replicate the services that they offer in their entirety if they would not cooperate with Google’s requests.
Luther Lowe, public policy chief at Yelp said: “Google’s modus operandi is to figure out what their anti-competitive goal is and concoct a veneer of consumer benefit.” Google attempted to purchase Yelp but when the company refused, Google conducted a “years long campaign to treat our content in the same way it did when they had a licensing contract with us,” Lowe added.
Read more at the Telegraph here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org