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Holiday rental search companies accuse Google of ‘unfairly promoting’ its own service in EU: Report

34 companies including Trip Advisor and Expedia have accused Google of "unfairly promoting" its own holiday rental search in Google search results, in a letter to the European Commissioner for Competition, Financial Times reported. The companies reportedly claimed that Google directs more user attention and clicks to its own service by displaying "a visually-rich OneBox at the top of its general search results pages," regardless of the relevancy for the user. One of the 34 companies has also filed an official complaint to the European Commission and claimed that such anti-competitive behaviour by Google will prevent new companies from entering the market and will ultimately lead to higher prices, per the report. It also claimed that the tech giant's own service is not bound by the same page ranking criteria that it applies to others and that Google grants its own service free of cost, while charging other companies for the same display spot. “We see strong indications of a competitive strategy for Google to reduce us and our industry to mere content providers for the ‘one-stop-shop’ of Google’s new product,” - the letter reportedly said. This objection to Google's alleged unfair preferential practices comes after the EU, in 2017, had fined the search engine €2.4 billion, for abusing its dominant position by systematically favouring its own shopping comparison service. In fact, in the last two years, Google has been fined more than €8 billion by the European Competition Commission and has been ordered to change its business practices. Google, on the other hand, claimed that…

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