FairSearch: Joining Forces Against Google’s Market Dominance

Cliqz has joined the interest group FairSearch that promotes innovation, transparency and choice across the Internet ecosystem by fostering and defending fair competition. To stop Google’s anti-competitive practices, existing laws must be enforced more consistently.

Björn GreifEditor

As the newest member of FairSearch, Cliqz is strongly committed to ensure that Google no longer abuses its dominant market position to prevent competition and block innovation. FairSearch is a group of businesses and organizations united to promote a healthy Internet future, where greater consumer choice and economic growth are driven by fair competition, transparency and innovation.

Google has gained unprecedented power, particularly in the search engine market, and has no scruples about exploiting it. Competitors are systematically kept small and excluded from the market by anti-competitive practices.

Anti-Competitive Behavior to Consumers’ Detriment

FairSearch believes in two essential principles: transparency and innovation. “If a monopolist manipulates search results to favor its own products and can dictate the prices of search engine advertising at will, this ultimately harms consumers,” says Marc Al-Hames, Managing Director of Cliqz. “Consumers – not a dominating search engine – should decide which providers will prevail in the market.”

Consumers benefit from fair competition as it increases choices and promotes innovation. Market players competing at the same level are forced to constantly improve their products and strive for maximum transparency in order to win users.

Promoting Fair Competition

To prevent anti-competitive behavior that always harms consumers in the end, policy makers must act now and enforce existing laws more consistently. This is the only way to promote and protect transparency and innovation in a fair competitive environment.

Besides Cliqz, search engines such as Ecosia and Seznam also support the goals of FairSearch. The interest group founded in 2010, for example, took action against Google’s anti-competitive practices in shopping search and in its mobile operating system Android. As a result, the EU Commission had imposed multi-billion antitrust fines against Google.