All big tech companies such as Facebook, Google, Uber and Airbnb have taken a dominant spot in nearly all the countries they have a presence. Small operators have a rough time competing with these market giants that have the resources and the tech that hand them a huge advantage.
In South Africa, the country’s Competition Commission (CompCom) has put big tech companies in the spotlight for instituting unfair practices that impede healthy competition. In a report titled Online Intermediation Platforms Market Inquiry, the Commission says that most of these companies have deliberately positioned their products to inhibit smaller players within the same field.
The regulator picked an issue with Google’s default positioning of its search engine on Android and iOS mobile devices, saying that it’s unfair.
The Commission cites Google’s monopoly with the placement of Android and iOS apps as problematic. The other issue was the placement of paid search results, saying that Google had a preference for them over organic search findings. The report’s recommendation is to have organically generated content rank at the top, with adverts appropriately labelled, with paid results positioned at the bottom of the search page.
Other areas highlighted by the report include e-commerce as well as travel and accommodation. Companies like Private Property and Property24, UberEats, Airbnb, Booking.com, and South Africa’s Mr Delivery, all feature prominently in the Commission’s report as part of large enterprises stifling smaller players.