Melissa Angell, 11 January 2021
Video-sharing site Rumble, which reportedly has a large base of politically conservative users, hit Google with a $2 billion antitrust suit Monday in California federal court, accusing the tech giant of unlawfully “rigging” its search algorithm to elevate Google’s own YouTube platform over competitors.
Toronto-based Rumble alleges that the tech behemoth diverted massive web traffic by manipulating its search algorithm to preferentially display YouTube links in the search results over those of Rumble and other video rivals.
The video-sharing site claims that these diversions to YouTube — which even occurred if users searched specifically for videos “on rumble” — deprived it of traffic, users, videos, revenue and name recognition that it would have otherwise garnered.
“Rumble’s success, however, has been far less than it could and should have been as a direct result of Google’s unlawful anticompetitive and monopolistic behavior, and coincided with Google’s unlawful rise to monopoly prominence in the search engine market,” the complaint says.
Rumble’s suit comes as big technology firms like Google, Apple and Amazon face criticism that they treat users and competitors with a politically conservative point of view unfairly, including an antitrust suit filed Monday against Amazon by social networking app Parler for kicking it off its web hosting platform.