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Google face £261 million lawsuit

Google are under fire for allegedly giving preferential treatment to its own services, while demoting rival companies.

1PlusV, a french rival to Google’s search engine platform, as well Microsoft, Foundem and German price comparison site Ciao (owned by Microsoft) are complaining that their practices are unjust.

Google has allegedly prevented 1PlusV, who operate the ejustice.fr legal website and search engine from developing specialised ‘vertical’ search engines and has tried to stop the business from generating money from advertising. The lawsuit they are filing is for lost and future profits, said 1plusv. They have filed the claim yesterday, according to Reuters.

1PlusV claim in their filing “Between 2007 and 2010, no less than 30 vertical search engines created by 1plusV were blacklisted, some of which showed significant business potential.” They have alleged that Google are trying to repress rivals through a policy of tying Adsense advertising into its own search engine. Advertisers can purchase keywords through Google Adsense for producing commerical links along with search results when a person goes to search for something using that specific keyword. This means that competitors have to use Google technology to access clients and revenue streams.

Colin Gillis, a BGC Partners analyst spoke to Reuters and said “If it becomes a trend where it’s not just government penalties but lost profits from competitors, that adds up quick.”

Insiders claim that this lawsuit might be the first of many, now that it has started, other companies might leap to the fore with similar claims.

Kitguru says: Will the lawsuit floodgates now open against Google?

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