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Seznam: Search engine sues Google for 417 million dollars

A Czech internet company was ousted from the market leadership by Google and is now demanding compensation. It is about linking the services with Android.

Google Headquarters
(Picture: Koki Kataoka/Reuters)

The search engine Seznam from the Czech Republic wants to sue Google. As the news agency Reuters reported on 11 December 2020, Google is being sued for abuse of its competitive position for 417 million US dollars. Seznam explained that the claim, based on the period between 2011 and 2018, has been sent to Google in recent days with 30 days’ notice and they are ready to take civil action. According to Seznam, Google has abused its dominant position on the Czech market with its Android operating system and apps.

With a 25 percent share of the Czech search market, Seznam achieved a turnover of 4.69 billion Czech crowns (215.8 million US dollars) in 2019 and a cumulative turnover of 32 billion Czech crowns since 2011.

Pavel Zima, the managing director of the search engine Seznam, told Wirtschaftswoche as recently as January 2015 that 55 percent of all search queries went through the search engine, 90 percent of Czechs used one of the services at least once a month. This means that the company is responsible for 60 percent of all visits to the Czech web.

Seznam is an internet company, not a mere search engine. The company offers an e-mail service, streaming (Stream.cz), an online map service for navigation (Mapy.cz), yellow pages (Firmy.cz), its own news pages, a metasearch for online shopping (Zbozí) and its own online shop (Sreality).

Because Google is using its market power in the smartphone operating system Android to give its own search services priority over its competitors, the EU Commission has already imposed a billion-euro fine on Google in July 2018

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