The American FairSearch.org organisation has been fighting to ‘foster and defend competition in online and mobile search’ for a wee while now. Since its inception in October 2010 by Microsoft and Foundem, many other businesses have joined the FairSearch cause, which is specifically aimed at Google and what FairSearch denounces as Google’s anti-competitive monopolist behaviour.
Now FairSearch has crossed the pond and has started a European-focused branch: FairSearchEurope.org. It has recognised that in Europe Google’s market position is even more dominant than in the USA, boasting market shares in excess of 90% in many European countries, and that there’s a strong case to be made for regulatory intervention to safeguard search neutrality.
One could argue that FairSearch.org is nothing but a Microsoft-funded propaganda machine aimed at giving Bing more prominence. But that wouldn’t be an entirely fair judgment, in my opinion. There are many more companies than just Microsoft involved in FairSearch.org and its new European department (and more are signing up all the time), and the issues that are being highlighted are worth looking in to. Take a look for yourself:
Anyone with an interest in the search market, and especially in the multi-faceted fights for search dominance in various verticals, would do well to keep a keen eye on what’s coming out of FairSearch.org.