Dany Assaf weighs in on Google Canada investigation

Competition Bureau plans investigation into Google Canada

May 17, 2013

Competition partner Dany Assaf was consulted by the Financial Post on its recent report about a planned investigation of Google Canada by the federal Competition Bureau. Read an excerpt of the article below.

Google’s core search engine remains the most popular Web query tool for users in the United States, Canada and many other markets around the world. In the United States, Google controls 67% of the search market, according to comScore Inc., more than double the combined market share of its next two closest competitors, Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc.

According to Dany Assaf, a competition lawyer with Torys LLP in Toronto, the complaint most often levied against Google is that because the company is the leading search engine in the market, it could skew search results depending on its own internal incentives or arrangements with advertisers.

"Because these are all new issues with so much complexity to them and so much nuance and everybody is just starting to graph what may or may not be anticompetitive effects," Mr. Assaf said.

"So five years from now, or two years from now, things may become clearer, but there are always difficult questions when someone essentially creates the market and how they use or exploit that for expanding their own business."

If the Competition Bureau opts to target Google’s core search engine, it wouldn’t be the first time that the company’s search practices have raised the ire of competition watchdogs.

Click here for the full article.

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