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Study Suggests Google Harms Consumers by Skewing Search Results


Yelp-sponsored research examines Google’s practice of promoting its own search services

June 29, 2015 4:18 a.m. ET

BRUSSELS—New research by two U.S. academics suggests thatGoogle Inc. is harming Internet users and violating competition laws by skewing search results to favor its own services, a potentially significant twist in Europe’s long-running antitrust investigation of the U.S. search company.

The research combines statistical testing with detailed legal and economic analysis to examine the ramifications of Google’s practice of promoting its own specialized search services, such as for local restaurants or doctors, at the expense of rivals such as Yelp and TripAdvisor.

It was sponsored by Yelp, which has filed a complaint with European Union antitrust authorities over Google’s search practices. It was presented to EU regulators on Friday.