Google has been accused of abusing its search dominance to promote Google Maps over rivals by UK-based Streetmap.
Streetmap, one of the first online mapping providers that launched in 1997, says Google is engaging in “anticompetitive conduct” and that its launch of Google Maps in 2007 lead to a “dramatic loss of traffic” to Steetmap’s website.
The lawsuit has been taken to the High Court and precedes upcoming probes by the European Union’s antitrust regulator into Google’s dominance of several sectors across shopping, travel and the company’s Android mobile operating system.
Streetmap argues that the launch of a map at the top of Google search results containing a thumbnail map generated only from Google Maps in June 2007, called the “Maps OneBox”, and later Google Maps for Android in October 2008, saw the company promoting its own maps more favourably.
Mark Hoskins representing Streetmap said: “Documents show the new-style Maps OneBox allowed Google to take advantage of its dominant position in online search to drive traffic to Google Maps in the online mapping market.”