Several popular video extensions have been removed from the Google Chrome online store for breaking policy rules. Google told Reuters that the extensions in question were developed by IAC/InterActive Corp and that a decision on the company’s status on the store remained pending.
Google argues that IAC misled users by employing deceptive marketing practices. Reportedly, some of IAC’s plug-ins promise features that are not present, trick users into installing software that they do not want, and change individual’s home pages. Google did ask IAC to rectify these issues before escalating the situation.
Not it seems that IAC could be about to face severe penalties as a result of the rogue extensions and even a potential ban. Google is currently in the process of reviewing other IAC plug-ins before coming to a final decision.
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Two sides to the story
One of the reasons why Google has not taken stronger action already is due to concerns that penalties could be viewed as anti-competitive. Google and IAC are rivals in some product categories and any efforts by Google to penalize IAC could draw the attention of antitrust regulators.
“Google has taken hundreds of millions of dollars from us to advertise and distribute these products in the Chrome Store,” an IAC spokeswoman told Reuters in an emailed statement. “There’s nothing new here - Google has used their position to reduce our browser business to the last small corner of the internet, which they’re now seeking to quash.”
Google is no stranger to accusations that it indulges in anticompetitive practices. It will be interesting to see whether antitrust concerns prevent the company from imposing further punishments on IAC.
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