Editor’s Note: The complaint discussed below appears, based on the article, to be an attempt at rent-seeking. The Economist describes rent-seeking as “Cutting yourself a bigger slice of the cake rather than making the cake bigger. Trying to make more money without producing more for customers. Classic examples of rent-seeking, a phrase coined by an economist, Gordon Tullock, include: … lobbying the GOVERNMENT for tax, spending or regulatory policies that benefit the lobbyists at the expense of taxpayers or consumers or some other rivals. Whether legal or illegal, as they do not create any value, rent-seeking activities can impose large costs on an economy.” [Emphasis added]
Product search site Foundem has claimed that Google is directly targeting household name search sites through Google Panda, the algorithm it says is central to ongoing antitrust cases.
Foundem kicked off the European Commission antitrust investigation against Google after they saw their site drop down the page rankings following the introduction of Universal Search in 2007.
Since Foundem first presented the case against Google, an official investigation has begun on both sides of the Atlantic. This has centred around Google’s leveraging of its search engine dominance, 95 percent of the market in Europe, to favour its lucrative forays into maps, product search and more.