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Getty accuses Google in competition row

BBC News BBC News 27/04/2016

Photo agency Getty Images says it will file a competition lawsuit with the EU against Google, adding to a long list of European cases against the company.

US-based Getty argues that changes to Google's picture search promote piracy and give the tech giant unfair advantages in traffic and advertising.

Google already faces charges over breaching EU competition laws.

The company has in the past dismissed allegations it has used its dominant position to stifle competition.

Accidental piracy

Getty Images says Google is displaying pictures in its search results that takes away traffic that would otherwise go to Getty's own website.

The photo agency argues that because image consumption is immediate, once an image is displayed in large format by Google, there is little reason for the users to continue to the original source site of a given picture they are viewing.

"These changes have allowed Google to reinforce its role as the internet's dominant search engine, maintaining monopoly over site traffic, engagement data and advertising spend," Getty said in a press release.

"This has also promoted piracy, resulting in widespread copyright infringement, turning users into accidental pirates."

Getty said it represented more than 200,000 photo journalists, content creators and artists worldwide who depend on being paid for their work.

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