prof. Dr. Çisil SHODOL, in her article titled “The new scapegoat for cost of living increases: Google”, commented on the lawsuit filed by UK consumers against Google:
Have you ever thought that a tech company might be making our lives “more expensive”?
Maybe we didn’t think about it, but British consumers are having problems with their ever-increasing cost of living, and the tech giant blames Google for making this process worse. And this accusation has become such that an allegation that Google has abused its market dominance in mobile search advertising has turned into a lawsuit in the UK where virtually every consumer in the country is seeking compensation.
The lawsuit seeks damages of approximately 7 billion euros (meaning at least 100 euros per person on average) from Google on behalf of all consumers over the age of 16 in the UK for violating competition law by eliminating competition in mobile search. Allegedly, Google is using market dominance to increase the prices advertisers pay to stand out on the Google search page. Since these increased prices are reflected in the prices of products and services, consumers are incurring losses by having to spend more on purchases.
Opinions of consumer rights advocates
Google: We did nothing wrong
A Google spokesperson said: “This lawsuit is speculative and opportunistic; We will strongly oppose this. People use Google because it’s useful. We only make money if the ads are useful and relevant, as shown by clicks, at a price determined by a real-time auction,” he said. Google’s advertising platform, Google Ads, generated over $224 billion in revenue in 2022, accounting for nearly 80% of parent company Alphabet’s total revenue that year, in the event that such a lawsuit ends up against the company and spreads to different countries with a domino effect and changes regulations. A crisis process may begin for I wrote last week, “A world without crisis? In my article titled “There is no such thing”, I shared the crisis report data of the International Institute of Crisis Management for the year 2022. According to the results in that report, news of corporate crises caused by “mass corporate lawsuits” have been increasing continuously since 2019. While 1.19 percent of the total crisis news in 2019 was about class action lawsuits against companies, this rate increased to 7.70 percent in 2022. So, there is now a more organized fight against inappropriate policies and actions of companies or brands. The Google case was also one of the most important indicators of how big this business could grow and how it could turn into a class action lawsuit on behalf of all consumers.
Those who are eager to use dominant power in a way that negatively affects competition and consumers do not seem to expect easy days. What does the consumer who does this to Google do to the others?