tstart: 1634703176.2188
Czech Republic Google News

Czech search engine demands financial compensation from Google for abusing its dominant market position

Seznam.cz seeks compensation of €345 million

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: iDNES.cz, Czech News Agency
via:

In a pre-litigation appeal, Czechia’s number one search engine, Seznam.cz, called on Google to reimburse damages of over 9 billion korunas (€345 million) caused by its restricting the competition in the internet search field.
According to the Czech company, the damage was caused by Google abusing its dominant position in the market with licensed operating systems for smart mobile devices and applications for mobile devices using the Android operating system.
Seznam.cz referred to a verdict of the European Commission in 2018, which confirmed that Google had violated European Union regulations for the protection of competition.
The amount demanded by Seznam.cz was calculated by foreign economic experts. Google has to pay the compensation within 30 days; otherwise, Seznam.cz will take the case to court.
According to Google Czech Republic spokeswoman Alžběta Houzarová, Android provides users with an unprecedented choice.
“People have the opportunity to decide which applications to install on their devices, which to use, and which to set as default. This operating system also enables millions of application developers around the world to build successful companies,” said Houzarová, who, however, did not respond to the appeal itself.
As it expands its apps, Seznam.cz has encountered barriers that arise from the establishment of Google’s business cooperation with global manufacturers of devices with the Android operating system.
“In particular, it is illegal to make access to the Google Play application store conditional on using Google search products on mobile devices. Furthermore, Google’s incentives for device manufacturers to pre-install their own applications to the detriment of competitors, plus hindering the development and distribution of competing Android operating systems are also unlawful. Google has created a sophisticated system of barriers, through which it has prevented Seznam from entering the market for years, thus does so in violation of EU law,” said Michal Feix of Chronos Consulting, which represents Seznam’s interests in Brussels.
Last month, a group of 165 companies and associations called on the European Commission to take a tougher stance against Google. In a letter to EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager, they pointed out that the technology giant prioritizes its services. Google, however, rejected the claim.
The group includes U.S. and British companies, as well as companies from 21 EU countries. It claims to be the largest group that has ever turned to the Commission for Competition. Among the signatories are also long-term critics of Google, such as Yelp, Expedia and Trivago. The Commission has imposed three fines totaling €8.25 billion on the U.S. giant over the past three years.
Seznam.cz is the Czech leader in the field of internet search services. In 2019, it reported revenues of 4.69 billion korunas (€178 million), and since 2011, its revenues have reached almost 32 billion korunas (€1.21 billion). Currently, its share in the domestic market for internet search services is estimated at 25 percent.
Title image: In this July 17, 2006, file photo, Google workers walk by a Google sign at the company headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Google says computer hackers in China broke into the Gmail accounts of several hundred people, including senior government officials in the U.S. and political activists. The attacks announced Wednesday, June 1, 2011, on Google’s blog weren’t believed to be tied to a more sophisticated assault originating from China in late 2009 and early last year. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)