Court statementsIn court making a case to appeal against a €4.3 billion fine from the European Union for abusing its market power, Google pointed out that “Google” is in fact Bing’s most searched term.
When the EU accused Google of using Android‘s success in the smartphone market in making Google the default search engine, Google fired back that the leading competitor was being used to find Google.
“We have submitted evidence showing that the most common search query on Bing is, by far, ‘Google’,” lawyer Alfonso Lamadrid told the EU General Court. “People use Google because they choose to, not because they are forced to.
“Google’s market share in general search is consistent with consumer surveys showing that 95% of users prefer Google to rival search engines.”
Market preferencesThis argument, that users choose its services, has become a key point in its appeal to the record 2018 fine, while also dealing Microsoft a devastating blow.
Google has been accused of manipulating the market by making Android manufacturers pre-install the Google search app and Chrome web browser into their devices. Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s Competition Commissioner in 2018 when the case was brought forth, said that Google was paying some manufacturers to make it the only pre-installed search engine app. This all came down to only 1% of users downloading another search app.
So does this mean Google is the go-to choice because it is popular in its own right or popular because it’s the choice presented?
Search engine competitorsWhether Google likes it or not, there are a lot of search engine options available to the public. And taking advantage of them can mean reaching customers that you wouldn’t ordinarily with only Google. For example, Baidu has a market share of 72.73% in China.
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