Wed. Nov 13th, 2019

Offensive against Google's job search service

“Internet is not owned by Google. Not for being a great search engine, you have the right to end platforms that have been raising a digital business for years on their own merits. Google attentive against free competition and abuses its dominant position on the internet. ”

The song returns. It was heard when Google abused the price comparison service, when I gave preference to the applications of Android (of his property), and when he abused his digital advertising services Google Adsens. Now, the song returns in a letter signed by 23 job offer platforms against its great competitor: Google for Jobs, an application that adds job offers that can be found online.

The Reuters agency leaked yesterday the letter in which the 23 affected ask the European Comission the suspension of the service until it clarifies whether Google is also abusing its position in this business.

The platforms ask that the Commission accelerate the antitrust investigation that opened last year

The Competition Commission, led by Margrethe Vestager, closely follows the movements of the American giant. In the European Union, Google formally activated the service earlier this year but by the end of 2018, the Commission had already initiated an antitrust investigation against Google's job search services. In the United States, the company was also under the magnifying glass of the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice for unfair competition issues.

EU research remains open but does not bear the fruits that platforms expect. The 23 signatory companies – among which are Madrid's Infoempleo, the British Best Jobs Online, the German Intermediate and Jobindex – can no longer endure the situation.

"Since Google for Jobs was activated in Spain, we have lost between 25% and 30% of visits per month," a source from the sector regrets. "The competing platforms disappear from the top positions in the search engine because Google manipulates the operation in their favor." And this causes serious damage because 70% of online job searches start with Google, said those affected.

In addition, “the multinational also manipulates the job alerts that the user receives in their mail so that it does not redirect the visit to the competing platforms” Those affected also regret that while they have been in business for years, Google for Jobs has become the absolute leader in visibility in just a few months.

In the letter, the affected platforms get to ensure that "Google wants to replace them because it offers its services directly to companies" and also point out that "it has approached its customers and suppliers actively and directly."

Sources of Alphabet (the matrix of Google) yesterday wanted to defend themselves. A spokesman for the company assured Reuters that the multinational had already made changes to adapt to the demands of European platforms. "We added the option to directly link job offers that only exist on one page," he said. For his part, Nick Zakrasek, product manager of the Google job search service, said that any company looking for workers can use this function and said that many customers have seen a significant increase in the number of job applications they receive. "We are able to provide more traffic to websites because we improve the search experience," he added.

However, none of this convinces the platforms. Those affected sent the letter to Margrethe Vestager yesterday, although if there is no change, they will continue to file formal complaints with the European Commissioner, said a person familiar with the matter. But his struggle can be even more entrenched. Vestager ends his term on October 31 and his successor may not have a hard line like her against the big technology companies.

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