BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Getty Images [GETTY.UL] has become the latest company to take its grievances with Google to EU antitrust regulators as it accused the world’s most popular Internet search engine of favoring its own images service at the expense of rivals.
The complaint comes as the European Commission waits for Google to respond to charges of abusing its market power in a dozen EU countries since 2007 by distorting search results to favor its shopping service.
The renowned photojournalism archive said its troubles with Google started in early 2013.
“Web search results that link directly to the Getty Images website are placed low in the search results, frequently, and remarkably, not on the first page of results,” the company said on its website.
“This means Google is benefiting from the use of Getty Images content, used to generate results within Google Image Search, without sending the image searchers to the Getty Images website or other competing image search engines.”
Google spokesman Al Verney declined to comment.
Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso said Getty has been granted interested third party status, allowing the company to ask for a summary of antitrust charges against the Google.
The 19 critics, acknowledged as complainants by the EU enforcer, in contrast get a non-confidential, more detailed copy of the document.
CEPIC, a European association of picture industries and photo libraries, has also complained about Google diverting traffic from its members’ sites to its own services.
Google can be fined up to 10 percent of its revenues, or as much as $6.6 billion, if found guilty of breaching EU antitrust rules.
Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by William Hardy