Google hit by antitrust complaint by European job site

Google faced further legal challenges on Monday after the Danish online job seeker Jobindex complained to EU regulators that the Alphabet subsidiary had wrongly preferred its own job search service.

The antitrust complaint of Jobindex could expedite EU antitrust head Margrethe Vestager’s investigation into the Google for Jobs service, which has been under her oversight for the past three years. Vestager has fined Google a total of 8 billion euros for anticompetitive behaviour.

Launched in Europe in 2018, Google for Jobs allows users to instantly search for available vacancies within their specific area of ​​expertise.

It provides links to job listings compiled by multiple employers and allows applicants to filter, save and receive notifications about job postings, although they must visit other websites to apply for the job postings.

For regular web searches, Google displays a sizable widget for the tool at the top of the results.

There are allegations that Google is prioritizing its own job search service at the expense of competitors.

In 2019, Jobindex was one of 23 job search companies to complain about Google’s unfair preference for its own service.

According to Jobindex, Google used anti-competitive tactics to tilt the Danish market, which was previously highly competitive, in its favor.

Kaare Danielsen, founder and CEO of Jobindex, said: Reuters that when Google for Jobs first entered the Danish market, Jobindex already had the largest job database in Denmark

Nevertheless, in the short time after the introduction of Google for Jobs in Denmark, Jobindex lost 20% of search traffic to Google’s inferior service, Danielsen added.

“By putting its own inferior service at the top of results pages, Google is essentially hiding some of the most relevant job opportunities from job seekers. Recruiters, in turn, may no longer reach all job seekers unless they use Google’s job service.”

Danielsen asked the European Commission to fine Google and make periodic payments to ensure compliance, in addition to ordering the company to stop the alleged anti-competitive behavior.

The European Commission said the complaint would be assessed in accordance with standard procedures.

Google said it is working with job providers to direct users to websites with relevant job opportunities.

“Any job provider, big or small, can participate and businesses will see increased traffic and job openings as a result of this feature,” said a Google spokesperson. Reuters

Google will end Hangouts in November

Google too announced on Monday that it would phase out its Hangouts chat service and end it completely in November 2022.

It said users using the Hangouts mobile app will be prompted to switch to Google Chat, which can be accessed through Gmail and its own standalone application.

For current Hangouts users, Google says it will automatically move all existing Hangout conversations to Chat. Hangout users also have the option to use the company’s Takeout service to download a copy of their Hangouts data before it officially retires in November.

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