Video-sharing platform Rumble has accused Google of misusing its monopoly of power. The YouTube rival has accused Google of “unfairly rigging its search algorithm” to favour YouTube’s videos in search results. This is another incident in the string of antitrust issues that the tech giant has faced over the years, thus also drawing the attention of EU legislators and US authorities.
Rumble’s complaint comes shortly after Parler sued Amazon. Rumble, a Canadian online video platform based in Toronto, filed a lawsuit in California on Monday claiming that Google had unfairly cost it viewers and advertising revenue because of its search algorithms and preinstallation of the YouTube app on Android devices.
“Google, through its search engine, was able to wrongfully divert massive traffic to YouTube, depriving Rumble of the additional traffic, users, uploads, brand awareness and revenue it would have otherwise received,” the complaint said. The complaint also alleges that Google “willfully and unlawfully created and maintained a monopoly in the online video-sharing platform market in at least two ways…”
“First,” it added, “by manipulating the algorithms by which searched-for-video results are listed, Google insures that the videos on YouTube are listed first, and that those of its competitors are listed way down the list. Second, by pre-installation of the YouTube app as the default online video-sharing app on Google smartphones, and by entering into anti-competitive, illegal tying agreements with other smartphone manufacturers to do the same,” the company added.
For its first seven years, Rumble was known for hosting videos of babies and pets. However, it struck a chord with the conservatives last year and is increasingly becoming popular with them. It all started when Republican Rep. Devin Nunes accused YouTube of being overly censorious toward his channel in August last year, and began posting his videos on Rumble. The company says that it has more than two million active creators on its platform. Its CEO, Chris Pavlovski, regularly posts updates on Twitter about right-wing figures joining the
online video platform.
Influential right-wingers in the US have taken an aggressive stance against established US tech firms such as Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon, a position lately intensified by the platforms teaming up to essentially block the right-wing social-messaging platform Parler.