Cracking news here from image licensing giant Getty Images who are going it alone for the photo industry confirming this week that it has been granted “interested party” status in the European Commission’s investigation into anticompetitive behaviour by Google. Getty Images provides specialised image search and shopping services to end users in direct competition with Google.
They say: ‘Google holds over 90% of the image search market in Europe and is accused of leveraging its dominant position in general web searches to favor its own service, Google Image Search. Among other things, Google is accused of using images that are owned and/or distributed by Getty Images to build and promote its own image search vertical, while demoting the appearance of original content providers like Getty Images in general web search results.’
‘…Google’s exclusionary behavior is severely impacting Getty Images services, exploiting its intellectual property and limiting future opportunities. Google’s disruptive behavior not only impacts Getty Images directly but also affects over 200,000 photographers, illustrators and filmmakers with whom Getty Images works, as well as over 300 image partners, that include the world’s top media brands and other stock photo companies. Google’s conduct chills innovation and competition from specialized image search companies and ultimately deprives image searchers and the internet ecosystem of new products and services.’