FairSearch
FairSearch.svg
Type of site
Search engine
Available inMultilingual
Area servedWorldwide
Created byDmitry Gerasimenko
URLfairsearch.com
CommercialYes
RegistrationNone
LaunchedOctober 2010
Current statusActive

FairSearch is a group of organizations that lobby against Google's market dominance in online search and related practices. The group is controlled by Oracle and Naspers executives[1] and has been characterized as a consumer protection organization,[2] a Google watchdog,[3] as well as a front group for Microsoft.[4] Many of its other members are also Google competitors, such as Expedia and Oracle.[5]

Established in October 2010,[6] FairSearch was formed as an international non-profit association incorporated under Belgian Law by travel verticals and online travel agencies to oppose Google's acquisition of travel software firm ITA[7] followed by Microsoft in December that same year.[8] In September 2012 Oracle and Nokia joined[9] in filing a complaint regarding Android with the European Commission, alleging that its free-of-charge distribution model constituted anti-competitive predatory pricing.[citation needed]

From at least 2011 to at least 2014, former Attorney General of Rhode Island Patrick Lynch was working with the Digital Citizens Alliance, sending messages to US attorneys and encouraging them to investigate Google.[10]

FairSearch hired Thomas Vinje, a top antitrust lawyer from Clifford Chance, as well as the PR firms Burson Marsteller and FIPRA International, to lobby lawmakers and journalists. In the EU transparency register, Burson Marsteller acknowledges having received up to €199,999 from FairSearch in 2016, and FIPRA International €49,999. Elizabeth De Bony, Director at Burson-Marsteller acts as executive director of FairSearch.[11] However, the latter's filings with Belgian authorities stated in 2017 it received no money or membership fees since its creation in 2013. "The origin of the money to pay these outside advisers remains unknown.”[12]

In December 2016, Microsoft quietly removed its financial support from FairSearch.[13]


References

  1. ^ "Oracle and Naspers' stealth lobbying fight against Google". POLITICO. 2018-02-16. Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  2. ^ Sherman, Chris (September 21, 2011). "Do The Majority Of Americans Think Google Is Unfair?". Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  3. ^ Savov, Vlad (April 12, 2013). "What is FairSearch and why does it hate Google so much?". Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  4. ^ Keizer, Gregg (Apr 9, 2013). "Microsoft not fooling anyone by using FairSearch front in antitrust complaint against Google". Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  5. ^ "Former Attorney General Lynch Calling for Google Investigation". The New York Times. December 17, 2014. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  6. ^ Carlos Perez, Juan (12 October 2011). "Google probed by industry pressure group FairSearch.org". Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  7. ^ WASSERMAN, ELIZABETH (24 February 2011). "DOJ threatens to nix Google merger". Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  8. ^ Sterling, Greg (December 15, 2010). "Microsoft Joins FairSearch Group Opposing Google-ITA Acquisition". Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  9. ^ Sasso, Brendan (19 September 2012). "Oracle and Nokia join anti-Google lobbying group". Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  10. ^ "Former Attorney General Lynch anti google emails". nytimes.com/. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
  11. ^ "EU Transparency Register". Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  12. ^ "Oracle and Naspers' stealth lobbying fight against Google". Archived from the original on 19 August 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  13. ^ "Microsoft quietly retreats from FairSearch-watchdog behind google". Retrieved 7 December 2021.