Deal du Jour, a French daily deal company, has filed an antitrust complaint to the European Commission. This latest (10th) antitrust complaint was filed with the European Commission, all of which are currently under review by the Commission.
According to Deal du Jour, “Google illegally removed its site from its web index without any justification [and] blocked it from using its Adsense advertising service for monetization.” Deal du Jour stated that Google’s tactics were “clearly anticompetitive.”
It’s easy to see how Google competes directly with Deal du Jour: Since Google has its own deals program “Google Offers” and is actively acquiring additional deal companies, any other deal company could be a competitor.
The argument goes: Google doesn’t want to show “Deal du Jour’s” site in search results or allow it to market through AdSense because Google is now in the deals business (with Offers and its recent purchase of The Dealmap) and wants to marginalize or eliminate competitors. Yet a quick search for “les deals,” “deal du jour” or any number of variations on those queries on Google.fr shows that’s not true.
Any deal-related query yields dozens of deal sites operating in France.
Google denies that anything abnormal is happening, instead attributing any blocks from Google services such as AdSense to policy violation:
“We haven’t seen a new complaint, but our AdWords program has clear guidelines,” Google spokesperson Al Verney told Reuters. “We work to ensure these policies are easy to understand and continue to improve our customer service for advertisers.”
Here’s the unedited, verbatim email:
Thank you for your article about Deal du Jour against Google, but please i want tell you your article not describe the real deal issue, Google is blocking us since we have claimed our valid Trademark rights to block in adwords Annonces the Words ” Deal du Jour ” ( only at the text not at the keywords ) this is our right as million of companys have this rights ! In revanch of this Google is deleting us from the Index and block our Adwords Annonces ! So think about how anti competitive is that ! For that and only for that reason we have complaint to the EU and the FTC.
Deal du Jour says it owns the trademark to “Deal du Jour” (deal of the day) in France. The company made a complaint to Google in June regarding use of the phrase “Deal du Jour” in AdWords text by other French companies. According to Deal du Jour Google disputed the validity of the trademark. Deal du Jour told me in email, “Google . . . decline our request with the words your trademarks are generic and not valid.”
Their complaint included the following request: “We ask the competition regulator to investigate Google as a matter of urgency because our small company is being destroyed by Google.”