The OIP supports the call of e-recruitment services for intervention against Google’s favouring of Google for Jobs by Open Internet Project

Paris, August 13th, 2019 –The association Open Internet Project (OIP) shares the competition concerns expressed by more than 20 European online recruitment services over the way in which Google has launched its online recruitment service Google for Jobs in Europe, alleging that Google once again abused its market dominance as a general search service. 

Today, 23 e-recruitment services from across Europe submitted an open letter to the European Commission calling for measures against the way in which Google is launching Google for Jobs in Europe. The letter follows several official competition complaints made by affected parties to the European Commission. According to the letter, Google is abusing its dominant position in the European market for general search services by displaying and ranking its new online recruitment service, Google for Jobs, more favourably than competing recruitment services in its general search results pages. To date, Google for Jobs has been launched in the UK, Spain, France and Germany, with further countries to follow. Since launching, if a job seeker enters a job-related search query into Google, instead of listing the most relevant websites for related job information, the search engine now prominently presents a Google-powered box containing job offerings and information. No competing service may present an equivalent box. Since this new box takes up almost the entire results page, specialised online recruitment services that produce more relevant job offerings and information are now pushed so far down the results pages that they fear they will become virtually invisible to job seekers using Google search. 

The OIP shares the concerns expressed by the e-recruitment services that have signed the letter submitted to the European Commission. The OIP recalls that innovative European digital companies bring pluralism and freedom of choice to Europe's 500 million consumers, and that any attempt to restrict such freedom must be addressed quickly and effectively. 

As an interested third party in the Commission’s investigation into Google Shopping, the OIP has consistently highlighted the serious impact of Google favouring its own services in its general results pages[1]. The favouring ofGoogle for Jobsis astonishingly similar to the favouring of Google’s comparison shopping service, Google Shopping.This is despite the European Commission’s decision of 27thJune 2017 which deemed such favouring an illegal abuse of dominance and resulted in Google being fined €2.4 bn[2]. The European Commission has stated that its Google Shoppingdecision serves as a “precedent” for similar conduct[3]. Considering the identical pattern and economic effects of Google favouring its own Google for Jobs service, it is difficult to see how the Commission can allow Google’s latest attempt to lever its dominance in general search into adjacent online markets. 

 

Contacts:

Léonidas Kalogeropoulos, Delegate General : +33607315126 –  l.k@mediation-arguments.com

Thomas Höppner, Legal Advisor :+491749345022 – thomas.hoppner@hausfeld.com

 

[1]See OIP Manifesto of 15 May 2014, European Consumers and Digital Entrepreneurs demand ban of Google’s manipulative favouring of own services and content, http://www.openinternetproject.net/manifesto/

[2]Commission Decision of 27.6.2017, Case AT.39740 - Google Search (Shopping).

[3]Antitrust: Commission fines Google €2.42 billion for abusing dominance as search engine by giving illegal advantage to own comparison shopping service – Factsheet, 27 June 2017, file:///C:/Users/thomas.hoppner/AppData/Local/Packages/Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe/TempState/Downloads/MEMO-17-1785_EN%20(1).pdf

 

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