Google claims it is the most searched for term on Bing
The tech giant argues that its dominance is down to popularity rather than anti-competitive behaviour
Google has claimed that 'Google' is the most searched for term on rival engine Microsoft Bing, according to court testimony.
The tech giant argued before the European Union's General Court that it is simply the most popular platform on the market, in a bid to dismiss a €4.3 billion fine for anti-competitive practices.
The company is alleged to have used the success of Android in the smartphone market to push Google as the default search engine for users. The argument was that Google offered consumers little choice for search engines by pre-installing its own services.
However, Google has denied the claim, arguing instead that Google's popularity means it is out performing rivals.
"We have submitted evidence showing that the most common search query on Bing is, by far, 'Google'," Alfonso Lamadrid, the lawyer representing Google, 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."
For the initial case, Margrethe Vestager, then the EU's Competition Commissioner, said that Google had made forced Android manufacturers to pre-instal its search app Chrome and even paid some to make it the only pre-installed app, which led to only 1% of people downloading a different search app.
In response to the EU's decision, Google has implemented a bidding system on Android where consumers get four options for search (one of them is always Google) when they set a new device up. Companies that want their search engines included have to bid against one another to secure a place on the list with it changing every three months.
However, DuckDuckGo, has labelled this practice "fundamentally flawed" and has urged the European Commission to take action against Google.
"This EU antitrust remedy is only serving to further strengthen Google's dominance in mobile search by boxing out alternative search engines that consumers want to use and, for those search engines that remain, taking most of their profits from the preference menu," DuckDuckGo wrote in a blog post.
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