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Anti-Competitive Practices By Google: UK Independent Search Engine Calls For Change

22 July 2020

UK based independent search engine Mojeek comments on the importance of technology dependence and the moats constructed by Google, following the government's CMA report on anti-competitive practices of online platforms.

BRIGHTON, England, July 21, 2020 - UK government eyes are now fixated on Google after reports of anti-competitive practices were uncovered in the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) study into online platforms and the digital advertising market. In a very detailed, consultative, and year long investigation the search giant was exposed for tactics viewed as causing substantial harm for consumers and society as a whole. As we wait to see how the government will respond next, the independent UK search engine Mojeek aims to spearhead change and is scaling up its efforts to become a significant player in the web search market.

The new CEO of Mojeek, Colin Hayhurst states: "The country and government has seen the dangers of supporting overseas 5G technology. Another vulnerability exists in our dependence on search technology and services. UK search engine usage is almost entirely dependent on the US with 99.8% of searches done via Google and Bing[1]."

Representing one of the few truly independent search engines in the world, the CMA contacted Mojeek for comments in its investigation. Now reacting to the final CMA report via a blog post, Mojeek present the realities of the field of search, what the main barriers are and why building independent search services is the best way to disrupt the monopolised field of search.

As the report states, in 2019 "Google paid just under £1.2 billion for default positions in the UK alone". Mojeek views this as the biggest barrier to fair competition and a deliberate building of commercial moats. Google on the other hand claims to have improved competition after being forced to create a "fair" Android Choice Screen for new Android users. But Mojeek and other search alternatives saw the subsequent auction process as weak and biased, and it put more cash in the hands of Google. The suggestion of opening Google data to others was also explored by the CMA and was positively received by some companies. However, Mojeek claims absorbing aspects of Google or Bing would give them even more power and control over what information those who use search engines get to see. Mojeek argues the only way to provide that genuine choice is to offer unique and independent search results.

The goal of making Mojeek a globally competitive and genuine alternative search engine based in the UK has been strengthened with the recent addition of Colin as CEO. Crucially Mojeek is a search service that doesn't retrieve its results from others (Bing or Google) but builds it's own search index. After securing recent investment, Mojeek aims to dramatically improve their users' search experience by deploying hundreds of new servers, enabling their search index of web pages to double in the next 12 months.

Founder Marc Smith states: "We are excited to have Colin join the team. We have come a long way in the last few years but have always lacked that bit of entrepreneurial experience that Colin will undoubtedly bring to Mojeek. This and our recent investment will allow us to expand our small team and take a big step towards providing a genuine alternative to the mainstream search engines."


About Mojeek

https://www.mojeek.com

Mojeek Limited is a UK software development company with a vision to build the world's alternative search engine; a search engine that does what's right, that values and respects your privacy whilst providing it's own unique and unbiased search results.

Supporting Resources

References

[1] Search Engine Market Share United Kingdom – https://gs.statcounter.com/search-engine-market-share/all/united-kingdom; June 2020 shows Google (92.5%) and Bing (7.3% through Microsoft and their partners),Yandex (Russia, 0.05% UK usage) and Baidu (China, 0.01% UK usage).

FOR MEDIA INFORMATION:

Joshua Long
Head of Marketing
Mojeek
(e)

https://www.mojeek.co.uk | https://www.mojeek.com | @mojeek