On Thursday, Alphabet’s Google was hit with a lawsuit from its Danish online job-search rival, Jobindex, a year after it complained to EU antitrust regulators that the U.S. tech giant was unfairly favoring its own job-search service.
The lawsuit, filed by the Danish Media Association on behalf of Jobindex, accuses Google of copyright violations for allegedly copying job ads to its own service without permission.
Jobindex Chief Executive Kaare Danielsen says, “We’re willing to compete with Google, but it must be on equal terms, not with Google for Jobs having products on its shelves that aren’t theirs.” This is the first case to be brought to the Danish courts under the new EU copyright rules that went into effect in 2021, which require platforms to assume legal responsibility for any content their users upload.
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Danish Media Association CEO Mads Brandstrum has urged Danish authorities to implement these copyright rules against Big Tech, while a Google spokesperson has maintained that its job search service is fully voluntary. “Any job provider – big or small – can take part,” the spokesperson said. “No one is included in the Jobs function in Search unless they want to be – and we respect any decision not to participate in these features.”
Jobindex has requested compensation and damages for copyright violations, and have not used Google’s tools for flagging content infringing copyright. The lawsuit is an attempt by Jobindex to create a fairer playing field in the Danish job-search space, and may lead to further cases against Big Tech companies in the country.
Google’s job-search service has been the subject of antitrust litigation in Europe for nearly a decade, and the outcome of this new lawsuit could set a precedent for similarly situated tech giants in the EU.