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Google taken to court by major website

One of the world’s largest news websites – British MailOnline – is suing Google saying the search engine is hiding some links to its stories. MailOnline says Google has too much control over advertising markets and is systematically downgrading links to its stories in favour of other sites.

British users searching stories about ex-TV host Piers Morgan’s comments about the Duchess of Sussex last month were substantially more likely to see articles written by smaller regional newspapers, MailOnline said.

The website said it is being mistreated by Google News’s algorithm after having tried to be less dependent of Google’s tools for adverting sales online.

“This lawsuit is to hold Google to account for their continued anti-competitive behaviour including manipulation of ad auctions and news search results, bid rigging, algorithm bias and exploiting its market power to harm their advertising rivals,” MainOnline said in a statement.

Google said it would be fighting the lawsuit that was filed in New York. “The Daily Mail’s claims are completely inaccurate. The use of our ad tech tools has no bearing on how a publisher’s website ranks in Google search. More generally, we compete in a crowded and competitive ad tech space where publishers have and exercise multiple options.”

UK’s earlier announced watchdog for the relationship between tech platforms and publishers is now in place but it is still waiting for necessary legislation to be approved before it can act. The idea is that the Digital Markets Unit shall be able to enforce competition rules covering the big tech platforms and see to that for instance Google and Facebook pay for using publishers’ editorial content in online services.

Video-sharing site Rumble Inc. has also earlier this year accused Google in a lawsuit of abusing the power of its search engine and mobile operating system to boost its YouTube video service over rivals.

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