4 Start-ups against 4 giants

What's on the list? A search at Google & Co may not be ranked solely by relevance. unsplash-logoBjörn Antonissen

The big monopolists Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google are known for their rude business practices. Now four start-ups want to take action against them.

In the USA, a process is taking place that is attracting much attention there. Four small companies are suing the four giants in the IT industry. The companies Tiles, Sonos Basecamp and PopSockets are going against the business practices of big companies. “There’s such a dominant power that exists with these companies that when Google or Apple asks for something… you have no choice but to provide them with that,” said Patrick Spence, CEO of wireless speaker company Sonos, to Industry Leaders magazine. 

The Tech Giants’ approach sounds harsh. Google, for example, is said to have suppressed search results that would normally have directed interested users to Basecamp’s website. Apple is said to have pushed the company Tiles out of the market, because the offered product was too similar to an own Apple product, which would have competed with it. Amazon is said to have allowed obvious fakes to be listed next to the original products at lower prices and to have done nothing despite indications of this. 

The headwind that is now blowing against the four big tech giants is strengthened by a whole series of lawsuits in several US states. This is in line with support in politics and by antitrust authorities, who are increasingly concerned about the market dominance of Apple & Co. And this is not only true for the US. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon recently visited India for a cultural tour and was surprised by the cartel investigation that was launched against him and his company at the same time. Facebook has been under intense pressure for several months now with regard to the fake messages circulating on the portal.

Apple also has permanent problems. As the New York Times reported, the company has ranked its own apps first in over 700 searches for popular terms such as “books”, “music” or “news”. Four months ago it was reported that 50 US states and regions are conducting antitrust investigations against Google because the company is exploiting its monopoly position against small companies and start-ups that do not invest enough in Google AdWords. In Europe, similar cases are on its way, aligned by tax issues and misuse and tax evasion.