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Google Denies ACCC’s Claims Of Australian Market Power

The ACCC has concluded that “customer inertia” and default settings give Google an outsized advantage and act as competitive barriers for other search engines.

These findings make up its Digital Platform Services Inquiry – September 2021 Interim report, which will be submitted to the Australian Government Treasurer on September 30.

Google has denied these claims, stating: “Google’s popularity reflects its quality, not default or preinstallation agreements. Google’s popularity does not reflect a market failure caused by defaults or preinstallation. On the contrary, it reflects Google’s quality and the fact it is Australians’ preferred search service.

“In a user survey, 89% of Australians identify Google as their favourite search service. Data from rater tests, natural experiments, academic studies, and statements from the ACCC all corroborate Google’s quality.

“Defaults and preinstallation do not restrict users from reaching alternative services. Evidence consistently shows that users can and do override defaults and pre installations. One example is Google’s share on Microsoft Windows desktops in Australia. Microsoft pre-installed its Edge browser that defaults to Bing on Windows. But Google’s share of search on Windows is 91 per cent, while Bing’s is 7.5 per cent. Australians override Microsoft’s defaults and choose their preferred alternative: Google.”

The ACCC found last year that approximately 95 per cent of general searches in Australia are done through Google.



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