Google Inc., operator of the world’s largest search engine, was sued at the High Court in London by a U.K. Internet company for allegedly promoting Google Maps over those of competitors in what it claimed was “Google’s cynical manipulation of search results.” The suit filed by Streetmaps, was filed on March 15th according to court records.
Google’s actions have made Streetmap “harder to find,” the firm alleged in a statement.
This is the second time such a lawsuit has been proffered against Google in the last year or so.
Last June Google was sued by Foundem, a British internet company that already complained to EU regulators, sparking the antitrust probe. In its suit, the shopping comparison website sought damages for revenue lost as a result of Google’s “anti-competitive conduct.”
Foundem said that it had been unfairly penalized by Google because it offers a competing shopping comparison search service. It lost web traffic as a result of being pushed down in Google’s search rankings.
This led to an antitrust probe by the European Union into whether Google favors its own services over competitors in search results
Google has submitted an offer to the EU that will soon be shown to rivals and customers as part of settlement talks to end the probe into claims its search results discriminate competitors. EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told reporters in Washington today its goal is to “secure legally binding commitments” from Mountain View, California-based Google as part of the settlement negotiations
This week FairSearch, a group including Foundem that is lobbying for regulators to take action, made a new complaint that Android, Google’s mobile operating system, was also anti-competitive.