news: UK mapping service says dominant position was exploited by the search giant.
UK-based website Streetmap has accused Google of abusing its lead position in the online search market to promote its web mapping service.
Streetmap EU filed a lawsuit in London’s High Court, alleging that the introduction of Google Maps in 2007 resulted in a dramatic loss of traffic to its website.
Mark Hoskins, representing Streetmap, said Google treated its own online mapping service more favourably over other providers.
In June 2007, a new-style Maps OneBox started to appear in Google search results in the UK featuring a thumbnail map generated only from Google Maps.
Google introduced the feature in its Android mobile operating system in October 2008.
Hoskins said: "Documents show the new-style Maps OneBox allowed Google to take advantage of its dominant position in online search to drive traffic to Google Maps in the online mapping market."
Google has denied Streetmap’s claims and said it is not indulging in unlawful practices.
The US search engine giant is already facing antitrust charges in the European Union over allegations of anti-competition malpractices.
Google, which accounts for nine out of every ten searches in Europe, has been accused of favouring its price comparison service Google Shopping over alternatives.
If the charges are proven, the company could face up to €6bn in fines.