ARTICLES : SEARCH NEUTRALITY - ONLINE RESOURCES - LEGAL RULES - EDITORIAL FREEDOM

The «search neutrality» : myth or reality ?

Several actors have suggested that search tools results should be under scrutiny, and have used the expression «search neutrality» for these purposes. This article is a study of this new notion. Its findings are that search neutrality is a misleading concept, as it insinuates that search tools are compulsory tracks to information whereas they are competing with other means to access online resources, which in addition are not constrained by the same technical or legal rules. Search tools enjoy editorial freedom, the result of which is a non restricted choice in organizing results. Anticompetitive effects of such search results remain hypothetical.

*This article is an automatic translation of the original article in French, provided here for your convenience. Read the original article. "A search engine operator may, for example, be tempted to facilitate access to one address rather than another based on financial criteria. It may be in his or her interest to have faster access to one site than another because he or she will sell more advertising or because he or she has signed an agreement to do so. This is discrimination and, moreover, it is most often not transparent". Jean-Ludovic Silicani, President of ARCEP [1] 1. A A A A. A.A.A. AAA... Here are a few examples of names chosen by companies seeking to appear at the top of professional [2]directories . In countries of the world where the Latin alphabet is used and where

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Cédric Manara, The «search neutrality» : myth or reality ?, February 2011, Concurrences N° 1-2011, Art. N° 33874, pp. 52-57

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