Google Faces New Antitrust Law in Europe
“We are an example of consequences,” said Michal Feix, a former Seznam executive who now leads its legal and policy work as an outside consultant. Without the new law, he said, “you just can’t compete.”
Google says its success in the Czech Republic is the result of building a premium service. Czechs “choose our products because they help people find the information they are looking for – and because we make thousands of improvements every year,” Google said in a statement.
In the Czech Republic, Seznam’s history dates back to early enthusiasm for the Internet.
Ivo Lukacovic, founder and owner of Seznam, recalls a childhood without much money; His family doesn’t have a car or a color TV. As a teenager in 1989, when the country was still part of Czechoslovakia, he joined his classmates in mass protests, known as the Velvet Revolution, which contributed to the collapse fall of the ruling Communist Party.
“The regime fell, and the era of economic freedom began,” Lukacovic said on a bleak recent morning outside Prague. “Since I played with computers, I went to college,” he added.
At the age of 22, Lukacovic dropped out of the Czech Technical University in Prague after creating Seznam, which means “list” in Czech. It started as a website that introduced about 10 Czech sites to visit. A search engine was added in 1998; email, maps, and other services became available in later years.
The company continued to grow after Google opened its doors in the country in 2006. Seznam’s search engine was tailored to Czech speakers and added services like unlimited email hosting. to keep up with Google services. In 2008, the Czech Republic, with a population of 10.5 million won About the size of North Carolina, it’s the only place in the 31-country European Economic Area where Google isn’t the leading search engine.
By 2010, Seznam’s position began to change. Google has invested significantly in improving its non-English services and tries to empathize with the Czech people through efforts such as digitizing ancient books held at the 18th-century Baroque library in Prague’s Old Town.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/02/technology/google-seznam-antitrust-czech-republic.html Google Faces New Antitrust Law in Europe