YouTube rival Rumble is suing Google in a lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the San Jose Division of the Northern District of California, alleging that the tech giant is violating antitrust laws by “faking unfairly ”its search algorithms to drive traffic away from YouTube competitors.
“By unfairly rigging its search algorithms so that YouTube is the first link listed ‘above the fold’ on its search results page, Google, through its search engine, was able to wrongly divert massive traffic to YouTube, depriving Rumble of additional traffic. , users, downloads, brand awareness and revenue it would otherwise have received, ”says the 38-page complaint.
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Although Rumble has the exclusive rights to the original content videos, the platform claims that Google’s “illegal anti-competitive conduct” is forcing the Toronto company to syndicate its videos on YouTube in order to survive.
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The lawsuit, citing analytical data related to views of Rumble’s original content videos on YouTube, alleges that Rumble lost “a huge amount of revenue on 9.3 billion views that Google improperly directed to YouTube with its preference algorithms. YouTube unfair. ”
“If even a portion of those 9.3 billion views had occurred on Rumble’s website instead of YouTube, it would have generated well over 100 million additional video downloads on the Rumble platform, which reportedly generated billions more views on the Rumble. platform and huge additional revenue for Rumble and its content creators, ”Rumble said.
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The lawsuit also accuses Google of “an illegal tied selling agreement,” in which manufacturers of Android-based smartphones are forced to include YouTube as a preinstalled app in order to use the Android operating system.
“It has also damaged and continues to hurt Rumble by favoring YouTube more over Rumble (and other platforms, which hurts competition besides Rumble),” the company added. “Since a lot of online video search is done on smartphones, this further ensures that Google’s YouTube platform receives unfair preferential treatment. Google thus wrongly acquired and maintains a monopoly of the market for online video sharing platforms. ”
Rumble is seeking more than $ 2 billion in damages that the company claims it has suffered and “continues to suffer as a result of violations of Google’s antitrust laws.”
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“We will defend ourselves against these baseless claims,” Google spokesman José Castañeda told FOX Business in a statement.
Rumble latest to accuse Google of antitrust violations related to its advertising and search practices, following two lawsuits filed by four private publishers last month and two separate additional antitrust lawsuits filed by the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser.