Vivaldi CEO Calls Google ‘a Bully’ Over Anti-Competitive Practices
Jon von Tetzchner, the CEO of Vivaldi – the organization behind the Vivaldi browser has become the face of an anti-Google front in the tech world. His latest attack on Google comes today as he called Google ‘a bully’ over the anti-competitive practices from the search giant. Tetzchner claims that Google is abusing its power to bully it’s competitors.
The Vivaldi CEO talks about his time working with Google and helping them grow in popularity by integrating Google search with the Opera web browser. However, von Tetzchner says that gone are those days when Google was the new kid on the block. Today, the multinational, multi-billion dollar corporate giant that Google is, has become a bully and has been flexing its muscle to assert its dominance.
von Tetzchner claims that once Google grew in popularity, Opera which once was the ‘launching pad’ for Google’s initial success became an afterthought as Google grew closer to the Mozilla foundation. Services such as Google Docs which were massively popular were not made compatible to Opera. Even the Vivaldi browser, which is based on Google’s chromium code, has to hide it’s identity in order to access Google Docs. He claims that this bullying has increased ever since Google Chrome came around.
After an article on Wired by the Vivaldi CEO about Google and Facebook using private data gathering techniques and selective ad targeting – and how these techniques are ‘democracy threatening’, Vivaldi’s AdWords account was banned without notice. This account was finally enabled after a ban of three months. AdWords is a critical tool for any organization, especially one which has digital products such as Vivaldi.
This account was enabled after Google instructed them to rearrange content on their website – a practice which, as von Tetzchner points out, Google doesn’t follow either! However, the company had to bend to Google’s demands and it was only after this that their AdWords account was enabled. He concludes by saying “I am saddened by this makeover of a geeky, positive company into the bully they are in 2017. I feel blocking competitors on thin reasoning lends credence to claims of their anti-competitive practices.”
What do you think about Google’s anti-competitive practices? Did this piece change your views on Google? Do you too agree with von Tetzchner and think Google is ‘evil’?
You can read the complete post from the Vivaldi CEO here.