Expedia CEO advocates fairness for search engine advertisers.

Customer Expedia Group Sides with DOJ over Google Antitrust Lawsuit

The antitrust suit the U.S. Department of Justice brought against the biggest tech giant of all tech giants, Google, elicited a range of reactions, including support from some companies, skepticism from Google on the suit’s merits. Some people on Team DOJ are customers of Google.

Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern says he hopes the U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust complaint against Google ultimately changes the search giant’s behavior and creates a fair marketplace for the online travel company and others that both compete with Google and rely on its dominant search engine for traffic and customers.

“I’m very pleased to see the government finally taking some action,” Kern said at the GeekWire Summit on Tuesday, marking the company’s first public statement on the case since it was filed Tuesday morning. “Hopefully, it will create a fair marketplace for us, which is all we want. We have no axe to grind against Google, except that we don’t think the marketplace is equitable.”

Todd Bishop wrote a piece for geekwire.com about the lawsuit, and about the 2020 GeekWire Summit where the information above came to light.

Company leaders including Kern and Chairman Barry Diller have been outspoken about the challenges created by Google’s dual role as a search platform and competitor. Expedia pointed out in a regulatory filing earlier this year that Google has been building out its online travel offerings while “further prioritizing its own products in search results.”

The company has traditionally spent heavily on Google search ads to boost traffic to Expedia Group brands. Maybe Expedia feels they aren’t getting enough bang for their buck with Google.

Below is a two-minute cut from Kern’s fireside chat at the 2020 GeekWire Summit.

Google Responds

In a post responding to the suit, Google called the government’s case “deeply flawed” and “dubious.”

“We understand that with our success comes scrutiny, but we stand by our position,” said Kent Walker, Google senior vice president of global affairs, in the post. “American antitrust law is designed to promote innovation and help consumers, not tilt the playing field in favor of particular competitors or make it harder for people to get the services they want.”

Bishop’s article explains that Expedia feels Google needs to be looked into—but perhaps not too hard.

Kern added, “Our goal is only a fair fight. We have no axe to grind against anyone we’re in business with, or any of our competitors. We just want a fair fight.”

With Google’s resources, it might end up being quite a fight.

read more at geekwire.com