Google Accuses Ask.com Owner IAC Of Browser Hijacking: Wall Street Journal

IAC Chairman Barry Diller

A fight is developing between Google and IAC/Interactivecorp. IAC, The Wall Street Journal reported today.

What Happened: Google is considering removing IAC's Chrome browser extensions from the Google store. This is after an audit turned up deceptive marketing practices, the Journal reports citing documents it has reviewed and people familiar with the matter.

IAC, under its Chairman Barry Diller, owns the websites Investopedia, Vimeo, Daily Beast and many others. Diller is also chairman of Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ: EXPE).

Google, owned by Alphabet Inc GOOGGOOGL, said the audit showed IAC's extensions tricked users into clicking on content that led to advertisements. It also said browser homepages were automatically changed and that Ask.com toolbars were automatically installed, counter to user intentions.

IAC-owned Ask.com is a holdout from the days when Google had not yet dominated the search market.

IAC responded that its products do not violate Google's policies and that the moves against it are intended to kill its browser-related business.

What's Next: Google has not yet decided whether to take action, out of concern that it would be seen as anti-competitive. Google is already in hot water with U.S. authorities over antitrust issues. Federal prosecutors sued the company in October.

Posted In: AntitrustAsk.comBarry DillerbrowsersNewsTechMedia

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