Czech search engine Seznam.cz claims compensation from Google in the amount of 9.072 billion CZK for the losses Seznam had to suffer due to Google’s limits to fair competition. According to Seznam’s statement, they encountered losses following Google’s abuse of their influence on the search engines and the operating systems market.
Earlier in October, DuckDuckGo (U.S.), Ecosia (Germany), Lilo and Qwant (France), and Seznam (Czech Republic) petitioned to European Commission with a request to re-evaluate governing Google’s search market advantages. The goal of the re-evaluation would be to ensure the competitiveness of the European search engines market. The request suggested a trilateral meeting with the European Commission’s executive VP Margrethe Vestager and Google representatives. The initial offer of the competitors was to change the Android interface in a way that makes it convenient to choose the preferred default engine when setting up the device.
Back in 2018, the European Commission fined Google five billion dollars for breaching the European competition law. Following this decision, Seznam decided to also claim compensation.
In response to the Commission’s decision, Google offered rival search engines to be included as offers for users’ default engines on Android every quarter. However, if the user chooses the competitor’s engine, the rival company would have to pay Google.
“Google has created a sophisticated system of barriers that has prevented Seznam from entering the market for years, in violation of EU law,” said Michal Feix, CEO of Chronos Consulting, which defends Seznam.cz’s interests in Brussels according to Seznam’s statement.
Seznam issued a notice for Google with a 30-day payment deadline stating that if they do no receive compensation, they will proceed with this case in court.