Toronto, Canada-based video-sharing site Rumble has filed a lawsuit against Google, accusing the web giant of "unfairly rigging its search algorithm" to promote its own products. The Canadian company claims that Google is abusing its market power in the internet search industry to favor YouTube videos in search results over rivals.
Rumble said the Mountain View company's unfair behavior cost it significant numbers of viewers and advertising revenue over the years. The lawsuit also targets Google's deals with OEMs that require them to pre-install YouTube and Search on Android devices.
This doesn't give rival platforms a fair chance and wrongfully diverts massive traffic to YouTube. As a result, Rumble is losing the "additional traffic, users, uploads, brand awareness, and the revenue it would have otherwise received," the lawsuit states. The firm has indicated that it has lost at least $2 billion in advertising revenue because of potentially missing views.
Rumble sues Google for abusing its market power
Rumble was launched in 2013 as a YouTube rival that verifies and clears copyrights at the point of video upload. The project was a response to Google's decision to stay out of the copyright management business on YouTube in 2008.
The platform has grown several folds over the years. It has become hugely popular with conservatives who believe tech giants like Google are engaging in censorship. The company says it now has more than two million creators on board.
In the complaint filed with the District Court for the Northern District of California, Rumble said Google "willfully and unlawfully created and maintained a monopoly in the online video-sharing platform market". Google manipulates the search algorithm to ensure that search results show YouTube videos at the top, the complaint alleges.
"Even though Rumble is the original source for this video, even though Google was aware of that fact, even though the search term was verbatim the title for the video as on Rumble's platform, even though all sources point back to Rumble as the original content source, and even though the video was released to Google/YouTube last in time, the Google search results still listed YouTube's platform first," the complaint states.
Rumble's complaint comes on the heels of the United States Department of Justice's (DOJ) antitrust lawsuit in October last year. DOJ also accused the company of abusing its market power to stifle competition in the internet search industry.
Google, however, has expectedly maintained that it hasn't done anything wrong. The company says it doesn't give any preference to YouTube content over rival platforms. "We will defend ourselves against these baseless claims," a Google representative said.