Graham Jones, an MP for the Labour party (representing Haslingden and Hyndburn), has launched a rather scathing attack on Google.
In a Westminster Hall debate, the MP expressed concern that Google’s dominant position is “stifling innovation and preventing smaller companies from entering the market.”
Jones cited the case of Reach Global, a search engine company based in his constituency, which is being muscled out by “unfair and anti-competitive practices by Google.”
The MP spoke of “growing evidence” that Google is using its dominance in the search market to snaffle turf elsewhere, comparing it to Microsoft using its OS dominance to leverage into the browser market with Internet Explorer.
Jones went on to state that last year, Google raked in £2.2 billion in the UK market, which represented 50% of online ad revenue in the UK.
He commented: “All that has led to Google becoming subject to an EU anti-trust investigation into its European operations, with allegations of anti-competitive behaviour. There are suggestions that Google’s search results are influenced by advertising and even that Google’s technology might deliberately lower the visibility of rival sites.”
Jones asserted that Google has a clear responsibility to be transparent and free from bias when it comes to its search results.
Never mind net neutrality, Jones argued, without search neutrality to “constrain Google’s competitive advantage”, he envisions a “bleakly uniform world of Google everything – Google Travel, Google Finance, Google Insurance, Google Property, Google Telecoms and, of course, Google Books.”