The FairSearch Coalition announced that it has expanded its presence into Europe, with the launch of a new site at FairSearchEuopre.org.
The organization says that as its membership has grown, it has realized that the concerns it was founded on are not limited to the U.S.
That is true. Its members (including Microsoft) operate internationally, and those concerns are largely about Google's competitive practices. If you're unfamiliar with FairSearch and its principles, I suggest perusing this page full of our past coverage, and watching this pair of interviews that look at both sides of the story.
Thomas Vinje, which has represented "a number of high tech and Internet companies" will join the coalition as its European Counsel. “FairSearch.org has an important story to tell in Europe, and I want to help them tell it,” he said.
“Search is where people enter the Internet, looking for cultural and commercial information," says Vinje. "In addition to general search engines such as Google, consumers use specialized search engines to help them find flights, hotels, restaurant reviews, shopping deals and directions. Companies that run these specialized sites are creative and some have tailored their listings to add consumer feedback or to help people find things locally."
“We believe consumers are entitled to choose the best specialized search engine in an informed manner on a level playing field," he adds. "We do not want one dominant company surreptitiously to steer users to its own offering, which is sometimes inferior. Consumers deserve to understand what is going on, so they can decide for themselves.”
The Coalition's full member list is as follows: adMarketplace; Buscapé; Expedia Inc., and its brands Expedia.com and Hotwire; Foundem; the Interactive Travel Services Association (ITSA); KAYAK, and its brand SideStep; Level…com; Microsoft; Sabre Holdings, and its brands Travelocity and ZUJI; ShopCity.com; TripAdvisor; and Twenga.