It’s one of Google’s best-kept secrets and Germany wants to verify it. Heiko Maas, the German Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection, wants the Mountain View firm to reveal the details of its algorithm. In an interview with Financial Times, he explains that “when a search engine has such an impact on economic development, it is a question that we must address”.
But the battle will be tougher. Already, Google – of course – is not preparing to publish so easily the recipe which has enabled it to acquire a virtual monopoly place in online research in Europe. Finally, the American authorities are also getting involved in the affair since Robert Kimmitt, former American ambassador to the United States, reiterated the importance of respecting intellectual property.
A European affair
“We advocate the consistent application of antitrust law at national and European level. With regard to the role of the State which is concerned, the competition authorities are responsible for assessing whether a company occupies a dominant position in a given market and whether it abuses this position, ”says Mr. Maas. .
In 2010, the European Commission had already opened an investigation into a possible abuse of a dominant position, but no sanction had been retained. In February, however, the firm presented – following an agreement concluded with Brussels – a new display of search results highlighting the services of three competitors alongside its own services.