YouTube rival Rumble is suing Google for at least $2 billion, saying the search giant abuses its monopoly power

YouTube rival Rumble is suing Google for at least $2 billion, saying the search giant abuses its monopoly power
Rumble has become popular with conservatives, who say they are suppressed by Big Tech.Business Insider
  • The Canadian video-sharing platform Rumble is suing Google over claims the tech giant is "unfairly rigging its search algorithm" to preference YouTube videos in its search results.
  • Rumble is a direct rival to YouTube that has become popular with conservative US figures who say they are being censored by established tech platforms.
  • The lawsuit indicates that Google and other major tech players may face antitrust headaches from smaller, conservative-friendly rivals.
  • Rumble's lawsuit accuses the tech giant of "willfully and unlawfully created and maintained a monopoly in the online video-sharing platform market."

The video-sharing site Rumble has accused Google of "unfairly rigging its search algorithm" to favor YouTube's videos in search results, marking the tech giant's latest in a series of antitrust headaches.

Rumble, based in Toronto, filed a lawsuit in California on Monday claiming that Google had unfairly cost it viewers and advertising revenue because of its search algorithms and preinstallation of the YouTube app on Android devices.

"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," the complaint said.
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Google has faced a string of antitrust actions over its search dominance the past few years, drawing attention from US authorities, European Union legislators, and market competitors alike.

Rumble has become popular with conservatives in the past year or so, encouraged by Republican Rep. Devin Nunes and others. The company says it has more than 2 million creators using the site.

Influential right-wingers in the US have taken an aggressive stance against established US tech firms such as Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon, a position lately intensified by the platforms teaming up to essentially block the right-wing social-messaging platform Parler.
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Currently Rumble's list of most watched videos includes the conservative political commentator Dan Bongino, the Fox News host Sean Hannity, and the conservative YouTubers Diamond and Silk. Its CEO, Chris Pavlovski, regularly posts updates on Twitter about right-wing figures joining the platform.

In its complaint, Rumble alleges that Google "willfully and unlawfully created and maintained a monopoly in the online video-sharing platform market in at least two ways." "First," it added, "by manipulating the algorithms by which searched-for-video results are listed, Google insures that the videos on YouTube are listed first, and that those of its competitors...are listed way down the list...
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"Second, by pre-installation of the YouTube app as the default online video-sharing app on Google smart phones, and by entering into anti-competitive, illegal tying agreements with other smartphone manufacturers to do the same."

The firm indicated it was seeking damages of at least $2 billion.

Rumble's complaint comes shortly after Parler sued Amazon.
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Amazon had hosted Parler's service on its cloud service, AWS, but booted the firm off after the US Capitol riot last week. Parler argued in its subsequent suit that Amazon was behaving anticompetitively. Parler's lawsuit indicates that sites and apps banned or penalized by the US tech giants over violent speech are willing to use the emerging antitrust sentiment in court.

A Google representative told The Wall Street Journal: "We will defend ourselves against these baseless claims."

Rumble and Google did not immediately respond to requests for further comment from Business Insider.
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