Google's search algorithms unfairly promote its own video-sharing platform, YouTube, in the results pages, the online video service Rumble claims in a new antitrust lawsuit.
“By unfairly rigging its search algorithms such that YouTube is the first-listed links 'above the fold' on its search results page, Google, through its search engine, was able to wrongfully divert massive traffic to YouTube, depriving Rumble of the additional traffic, users, uploads, brand awareness and revenue it would have otherwise received,” Rumble alleges in a complaint filed this week in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California.
Rumble, which is favored by some prominent right-wing figures, also alleges that Google violated antitrust laws by installing YouTube as a default app on Google smartphones, and by “entering into anti-competitive, illegal tying agreements with other smartphone manufacturers to do the same.”
Google called Rumble's claims "baseless" and said it will defend itself.
The lawsuit is one of numerous recent cases alleging that Google violated antitrust laws.
In October, the federal government sued Google for allegedly monopolizing the search market. Forty-eight attorneys general made similar claims in a separate antitrust lawsuit filed last month.
Separately, 10 attorneys general alleged in a complaint brought in December that Google acted anticompetitively by rigging auctions for online display ads.
Google has said it plans to fight those cases as well.
The Federal Trade Commission previously investigated whether Google violated antitrust laws by promoting its own services in its search results. The agency concluded that investigation in January of 2013, without bringing a case.
At the time, then-Chairman Jon Leibowitz said the agency found that Google's primary reason for touting its own offerings in the search results was "to improve the user experience," as opposed to harming potential competitors.