Google is reportedly being monitored by the Financial Conduct Authority, a financial services watchdog in the UK, in relation to its comparison ads.
Of particular concern is that Google’s listing of search results includes interactive tools such as entering a car’s registration number to find a quick insurance quote. Complainants believe this makes it more attractive. Google has also begun to include its own service in searches for alternative price comparison websites such as Compare the Market or Go Compare.
The industry objects on two main grounds; firstly that Google’s own services have undue prominence in search results, since they are presented differently with items such as inbuilt tools for quick quotes; and secondly that Google has artificially boosted the position of its own services in search results, not applying the same quality control algorithm it applies to other websites.
According to the report, the FCA’s interest in Google is part of a broader look at the price comparison industry.
As you may know, Google has already proposed concessions in a lengthy antitrust review with the EU. More on that here.
Neither Google nor the FCA are commenting.
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