Feeds

TripAdvisor chucks antitrust complaint on Google's pile

Follows Expedia flight path to land in Brussels commissioners' laps

Boost IT visibility and business value

Online travel reviews outfit TripAdvisor has followed in the footsteps of Expedia by filing an antitrust complaint with the European Commission about Google.

The Massachusetts, US-based company submitted its gripe to Euro regulators on Monday, a spokesman confirmed to The Register.

It gave us this statement:

TripAdvisor filed a complaint with the European Commission to address anti-competitive and unfair practices by Google that harm the marketplace and consumer welfare. We hope that the Commission takes prompt corrective action to ensure a healthy and competitive online environment that will foster innovation across the Internet.

The filing has not been made public as the complaint is deemed confidential, the TripAdvisor spokesman added.

Late last week holiday-scraper site Expedia brought similar allegations against Google.

The office of EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia has indicated that a decision about whether to bring a case against Google could happen at some point this month.

Brussels opened antitrust proceedings to investigate allegations brought by the company's competitors in November 2010. It's understood that a 400-page statement of objections issued by the EC could imminently land on the lap of Google boss Larry Page.

Carefully worded statements have been put out by Almunia's people that suggest the EC is yet to decide on whether it will in fact issue a statement of objections detailing the complaints from online outfits that claim Google's tactics have hurt their businesses.

"The Commission is dealing with this case as a matter of priority. By the end of the first quarter, we will probably be in a position to conclude on the nature of the concerns given the evidence gathered," a Brussels spokeswoman told The Register back in January.

A response has been scaled back again, however, with Almunia saying that nothing will be said about the case before Easter.

In the US, a similar group of travel sites – including Expedia and TripAdvisor – teamed up to fight Google's proposed takeover of ITA Software back in October 2010.

That buyout is now a done deal – with some restrictions enforced by the US Department of Justice – and five months later Google launched its flight search service, after sealing the acquisition of ITA Software.

Separately, the Federal Trade Commission is probing Google's ability to enter new markets via its search engine, where the Chocolate Factory holds a share in two-thirds of that market. In contrast, here in Europe, the world's largest ad broker commands a 95 per cent chunk of online search. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
Yes, Australia's government SHOULD store comms metadata
Not because it's a good idea but because it already operates the infrastructure and processes to do it well
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.