#Public Sector

Germany wants Google to cough up search algorithm secrets

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Germany is urging Google to disclose details on how its search engine rankings really work.

Germany’s Justice Minister Heiko Maas in an interview with the Financial Times said Google had to become more transparent and reveal details about its secret algorithm that it uses to create search engine rankings.

Mass said Google, with a current market share of 95 per cent, dominates the search engine world and its dominance in search allows it to unfairly promote its own business interest which is not at all acceptable. Steps should be taken to solve this issue, he said.

Maas said when a search engine has such an impact on economic development; this is an issue that has to be addressed.

He said Google’s clout is exceptional. The search engine giant’s web search service accounts for a market share of more than 90 percent in the EU, compared with 68 percent in the US.

Maas said looking at Google’s extraordinary power over consumers and market operators in Europe, it has become a must to consider what precautions should be taken in place so that this power is not abused.

The minister added that the German government is seeking a consensual settlement to the case, but could call for the unbundling of Google as a last resort. However, it is too early to begin considering such a move, he said.
Google is yet to comment on the report.