Google has been accused of impeding the ability to search for competitors

Allegations have been made against Google, accusing the tech giant of leveraging its market dominance to hinder the discoverability of a rival email service.

Tuta Mail, boasting over ten million users globally, claims that since March, its visibility in Google searches for “encrypted email” has notably declined. The company has lodged a formal complaint with the EU, contending that Google’s actions have harmed its business, particularly since Google offers its own widely-used Gmail service.

Google, however, refutes these allegations, asserting that Tuta remains easily accessible through its search engine.

In its complaint to the EU, Tuta highlights a significant drop in its search ranking following an update to Google’s algorithm in March 2024. Consequently, monthly visits to its website have plummeted by nearly 90%.

Matthias Pfau, co-founder of Tuta Mail, has demanded that Google cease its purported unfair practices immediately.

Google maintains that its algorithm updates are not designed to favor specific websites, including its own, emphasizing that the email provider in question can still be found globally through its search platform.

With over a billion users worldwide, Gmail’s dominance poses a challenge for smaller email services like Tuta Mail, which argue that their inability to rank prominently for common search terms hampers their growth prospects.

Accusing Google of violating the new EU law that categorizes certain large firms, including Google, as “gatekeepers,” Tuta Mail argues that Google’s actions run counter to the Digital Markets Act by unfairly impeding competition.

Contrary to Tuta’s claims, a Google spokesperson asserts that Tuta actually ranks higher than Gmail for various email-related searches, including those not explicitly mentioning brand names.

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