Google can’t seem to catch a break these days. Its latest major feature, social search, has made its way into the FTC antitrust probe the company is facing, and we’re still seeing more delays in the EU commission’s decision regarding Google’s acquisition of Motorola. Google can now add to its list of woes, a tenth antitrust complaint in Europe as well.
We had recently reported that French e-commerce startup Twenga had added its two cents, and was planning to file a complaint against Google with the European Commission. At the time we wrote:
As Twenga CEO Bastien Duclaux explained to The Next Web…the company’s ranking in search results have been adversely affected by anti-spam tweaks, codenamed Panda, made by Google in recent months. Additionally, the search giant’s prioritization of its own shopping search service over rivals is “unfair and anti-competitive,” Duclaux says.
Twenga, a price comparison shopping site, accused Google of ranking its own e-commerce service, Google Shopping, far above its competitors, giving it an unfair advantage.
According to FrenchWeb.fr, the France-based startup has already lost half of its audience since Google put its new algorithm, Panda, into play, while Google Shopping has seen a 52% increase in its European marketshare, namely France, Germany and the UK.
Now, AFP has announced that Twenga has indeed gone ahead and filed the complaint, accusing Google of using highly anticompetitive tactics. The startup joins nine other complainants including UK-based search engine Foundem and French daily deals site Deal du Jour.
According to AFP, Twemga co-founder Bastien Duclaux said:
“The abusive practices of Google strengthened considerably in 2011 with a clear willingness to eliminate all forms of competition in several sectors such as video, hotel and product searches, and airfare searches, despite anti-trust probes in Europe and the United States.
In this context, Twenga has asked the European Commission to quickly make the US giant stop its anti-competitive actions, which undermine innovation and jobs in the European Union.”
The European Commission’s decision is expected by the end of March.