Photographic agency Getty Images has joined the EU’s anti-trust complaint against Google by alleging that the search giant favours its own image search results over rivals.
The European Commission is engaged in a war of words with Google over allegations relating to the manipulation of search results, including giving unfair priority to its own shopping service, local search, travel results and maps - warning of large fines if it fails to change its practices.
It comes as Getty, majority owned by the Carlyle Group, is seeking to distribute its collection more widely but has thus far struggled to drive traffic to gettyimages.com - despite possessing a collection of over 100m images.
Citing one example of underhand tactics Getty said that a search for ‘stock photos of coffee shop’ returned results and ads from Google Images above a link to photos of the subject matter held by Getty.
In a statement a Getty Images spokesperson said that they had ‘…created a captive environment that ensures that traffic on Google almost never diverts to the source sites of the images.”
Google denies any wrongdoing having seen off a similar investigation in the US after agreeing to voluntary changes to its practices.