Google Faces 10th European Antitrust Complaint

Deal du Jour, a French daily deal company, has filed an antitrust complaint to the European Commission. This is the 10th complaint of its kind, all of which are currently under review by the Commission.

Deal du Jour’s Complaint

google-france-doodle-bastille-day-2004According to Deal du Jour, their website was removed from Google’s index without cause and the site was blocked from using AdSense for monetization. Deal du Jour stated that Google’s tactics were “clearly anticompetitive.”

It’s easy to see how Google competes directly with Deal du Jour: Since Google has its own deals program (Google Offers) and is actively acquiring additional deal companies, any other deal company could be a competitor. The question is whether that’s really the Google’s motive.

Google denies that anything abnormal is happening, instead attributing any blocks from Google services such as AdSense to policy violation. 

“We haven’t seen a new complaint, but our AdWords program has clear guidelines,” Google spokesperson Al Verney told Reuters. “We work to ensure these policies are easy to understand and continue to improve our customer service for advertisers.”

Deal du Jour isn’t backing down, though. Their complaint was made official on July 31, and Deal du Jour was requesting a rush. Their complaint included the following request: “We ask the competition regulator to investigate Google as a matter of urgency because our small company is being destroyed by Google.”

Google’s Antitrust Woes

When you get big, you get big problems. For corporations, antitrust reviews are certainly among them. The antitrust investigation in Europe has been ongoing since November 2010. The number of complainants started at three, but new businesses and regulators have since contributed, bringing the total to 10 as of Deal du Jour’s official filing.

Google is also working with the FTC in the U.S. for a similar antitrust investigation which began earlier this year. Both investigations could take years, and the penalties imposed should the complaints be validated would represent a substantial financial loss for Google.

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