GOOGLE COULD BE FACING yet another antitrust probe in Europe after 23 websites filed a complaint about the company's "unfair" 'Google for Jobs' tool.
In a letter sent to the European Commission, seen by Reuters, 23 online job search sites moaned that Google's own jobs search widget, which launched last year, is squeezing them out of the job search market.
Google's tool sees a large widget placed at the top of results for searches such as "IT jobs" or "developer jobs", circumventing the need for a user to click through to a traditional job site.
The pissed-off companies, which includes Best Jobs Online and German sites Intermedia and Jobindex, allege that the positioning of the widget is illegal because Google is using its dominance to attract users to "ultimately serve as a substitute for other job boards" without the traditional investment.
"Having launched its online recruitment service in Germany in May 2019, as in other EU countries (Spain, France and the UK), Google for Jobs instantly became market leader invisibility," the companies wrote in the letter.
"Google also directly offers its services to recruiters and thus fulfils the typical functions of a job board. In doing so, Google is attempting to circumvent and ultimately serve as a substitute for other job boards.
"In fact, behind our backs, Google's sales teams are already actively and directly approaching our customers and sourcing recruiters as key clients."
The letter calls on competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who has been looking into Google for Jobs since it launched in Europe last year, to issue an interim order for Google to stop this "anticompetitive behaviour" while an investigation takes place.
In a statement given to Reuters, Nick Zakrasek, senior product manager for Google search, was quoted by Reuters as saying that the company welcomed the industry feedback on its jobs search tool.
"Any provider - from individual employers to job listing platforms - can utilize this feature in search, and many of them have seen a significant increase in the number of job applications they receive," Zakrasek said.
"By improving the search experience for jobs, we're able to deliver more traffic to sites across the web and support a healthy job search ecosystem." µ
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