YouTube Rival Rumble Sues Google for Rigging Search Algorithms to Control Traffic
By Movieguide® Staff
Big tech’s crackdown on rival platforms is without precedent. However, alternative media will not go down without a fight.
Rumble, a streaming service alternative to YouTube, joined Parler in the fight for free speech media sites.
On Jan. 11, Rumble sued Google in a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California’s San Jose Division. The video company alleged that the tech giant’s search algorithms violate antitrust laws and push traffic through YouTube and away from Rumble.
“By unfairly rigging its search algorithms such that YouTube is the first-listed links ‘above the fold’ on its search results page, Google, through its search engine, was able to wrongfully divert massive traffic to YouTube, depriving Rumble of the additional traffic, users, uploads, brand awareness, and revenue it would have otherwise received,” the complaint reads.
The Toronto-based company owns exclusive rights to the original content on their site. However, Rumble claims that Google’s violations unlawfully keep other platforms from competing with YouTube.
“[A] huge amount of revenue on 9.3 billion views that Google wrongfully directed to YouTube with its unfair YouTube-preferencing algorithms,” the suit reads. “If even a portion of those 9.3 billion views had occurred on Rumble’s website instead of YouTube, that would have generated well in excess of 100 million additional video uploads to the Rumble platform, which in turn would have generated billions of more views on the Rumble platform, and massive amounts of additional revenue for Rumble and its content creators.”
The suit also claims that Google participates in “an illegal tying arrangement” where Android-based smartphone manufacturers must preinstall the YouTube app to use the phone.
“This also has damaged and continues to damage Rumble by further self-preferencing YouTube over Rumble (and other platforms, which harms competition in addition to Rumble),” the company said. “Because much of the online searching for videos is done on smartphones, this further ensures that Google’s YouTube platform receives unfair preferential treatment. Google thus wrongfully acquired and maintains a monopoly over the market for online video-sharing platforms.”
Rumble wants $2 billion in monetary damages due to Google’s alleged antitrust violations.
“We will defend ourselves against these baseless claims,” Google’s José Castañeda told FOX Business.
Rumble’s unwillingness to bow to big tech comes after the free-speech Twitter alternative, Parler, sued Amazon for violating antitrust laws.
Parler, a free-speech platform that became the alternative—and competitor—to Twitter, filed a lawsuit against Amazon after the company removed the social media site from its server hosting service.
This comes immediately after Apple and Google Play removed Parler from their respective application stores for “inciting violence.”
Parler claims in the lawsuit that Amazon Web Services’ decision violates antitrust laws and breaches their contract, which requires a 30 days’ notice before termination of the platform.
“Watch your favorite video, subscribe to your favorite channels, and if you’re a creator, you can even battle for cash!” Rumble’s description reads. “By joining Rumble and uploading your best videos, you have an opportunity to challenge the world.”