The next antitrust case against Google: The conservative video platform Rumble has filed a lawsuit against the search engine in California. The accusation: Google is abusing its power, favoring YouTube and thus squeezing out competitors.
Rumble files suit against Google
Canadian video platform Rumble filed a competition lawsuit against Google’s parent company Alphabet in the U.S. state of California on Monday. This was reported exclusively by the Wall Street Journal.
Specifically, Rumble accuses Alphabet of two things: The company is said to be using its own Google search engine and Android mobile operating system to favor YouTube, which is also owned by Alphabet. According to the lawsuit, YouTube competitors like Rumble are suffering as a result.
2 billion dollar in lost revenue since 2014 for Rumble
The lawsuit says Google “unfairly abuses its search algorithm” to rank YouTube videos above Rumble videos in search results. As a result, Rumble loses a “significant” number of users and advertising revenue each month.
The second deciding factor, according to the plaintiff, is that the YouTube app is automatically installed on all smartphones that rely on Google’s Android operating system.
Google, through its search engine, was able to falsely redirect a great deal of traffic to YouTube, depriving Rumble of additional traffic, new users, videos, brand awareness and revenue that would have normally landed on the platform.
Rumble says it has generated $4.3 million in revenue since 2014 by licensing and distributing professional videos for video creators.
However, if Google did not favor YouTube so much, the revenue would be two billion (!) US dollars. At least that’s what the plaintiff platform claims.
Google rejects accusations
Meanwhile, Google’s reaction was not long in coming. A spokeswoman for the group announced in a statement: “We will defend ourselves against these groundless allegations.”
In July 2020, a spokeswoman had already emphasized to the Wall Street Journal that Google’s internal investigations did not come to the conclusion that YouTube links are preferred over other platforms such as Vimeo or Rumble.
However, independent tests have come to different conclusions that are clearly in YouTube’s favor.
Rumble is the new home for conservative and differently-minded video producers
Now, in case you’ve been wondering since the beginning of this text if you’re the only one who hasn’t heard the name “Rumble” in this context: Don’t worry. The video platform was originally founded in Toronto, Canada, and has been experiencing a user rush since the winter of 2020.
There are several reasons for this: On the one hand, Rumble’s licensing model makes it easier for content creators to make money because financial success isn’t tied to ads this way.
On the other hand – and this might be the main reason – the Canadian video platform hardly checks the uploaded content. This means that content creators can easily use the platform’s “freedom of speech” to distribute their content.
The fact that in many cases this is conservative content, to put it mildly, that is littered with misinformation, is responsible for the huge onslaught.
Because after the violent riots on Capitol Hill, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Amazon and Co. have drawn consequences. They have deleted the channels of the (still) incumbent President Donald Trump and radically removed a lot of misinformation.
Is Rumble also suffering the fate of Parler?
As a result, many conservative and dissenting people have switched to social networks like Parler and video platforms like Rumble. However, whether this switch will last is quite questionable.
After all, all major services have already blocked Parler on the platforms after just a few days. It should only be a matter of time before Rumble suffers the same fate. The lawsuit against Google is also likely to put the video platform in the public eye.