In a continuation of the recent David vs Goliath battles in the world of Big Tech, Rumble Inc. is suing Google, alleging the company favours its own YouTube site over competitors.
Video-sharing site Rumble Inc., based in Toronto, is filing an anti-trust lawsuit in a Californian federal court against Google, arguing the latter is “unfairly rigging its search algorithms” to place YouTube above Rumble in its search results.
The lawsuit reasons that, as a result of certain deals Google had made, YouTube is now pre-installed with Android operating systems, therefore unjustly losing Rumble viewers and advertising dollars.
“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 lawsuit states.
It includes findings from a Wall Street Journal in July, which found Google’s search results gave preference to YouTube links over rivals. The series of tests found that, in the majority of cases, YouTube videos were shown instead of rivals when sites had the same or similar versions.
Rumble also found bias in their own tests using their own videos. The lawsuit shows examples where the company looked up “funny dogs on Rumble”, which showed only YouTube content.
But Google has denied this, stating: “Our systems use a number of signals from the web to understand what results people find most relevant and helpful for a given query.”
The Rumble lawsuit comes as Google is facing several other similar lawsuits from two sets of US states, who accuse Google of abusing the dominance of its search engine and advertising.
The company was also sued by the US Department of Justice in October for allegedly using anti-competitive methods to maintain its status quo. Google says that the lawsuits lack merit.
The lawsuit focuses on Rumble’s core content of home-based viral cute dog and cat videos, but Rumble have said they are beholden to YouTube in order to survive.
Rumble’s core video content and business model relies on creators licensing their videos exclusively to the platform, which then shares them to other platforms.
Rumble has stated that, since 2014, Google’s practices have generated 9.3 billion views and $4.3 million in revenue for YouTube. They believe that most if not all of this rightfully belongs to them, and has been lost as result of the biased algorithm they say Google uses.
They added that this has had a direct impact upon them, as viewers would otherwise have watched more videos on their own site, meaning that content creators would have uploaded more.
According to figures calculated by Rumble, the advertising revenue for the allegedly missing views over this period would have been “well in excess of $2 billion”.