Figure 1 shows that for a movie query, Google displays and positions its content and those of its rivals in the same way, but Google Play Movie is the first option because it offers a lower price than Apple TV. It is hard to detect whether Google self-preferences its products for two reasons:
Who the rivals are: are they providers of comparison movie services, such as JustWatch, or providers of movies, such as Apple? It is unclear from the query what the user wants to find: a comparison movie service, information on the movie or where to watch it.Whether Google positions itself better compared to rivals: as detailed in section 3.1, price may not be an objective and unbiased parameter, especially considering that price can be the same for several providers, as Figure 2 shows, with data from JustWatch on the same query as in Figure 1.
In this case, to identify demotion of results, the Commission would need to access and analyse the algorithms. They will probably need an in-depth investigation to understand how the algorithms work and why gatekeepers use different algorithms. One reason could be that a box displays specific information that general search results do not display, thus requiring a specific algorithm to collect and process information. In the example illustrated in Figures 1 and 2, suppose that rivals are competing comparison movie services. It is evident that the box (Figure 1) displays specific information that is not displayed for competitors in search results. However, it is far from evident whether Google demotes rivals because the box also displays information that comparison movie services do not display, such as user reviews. 2b1af7f3a8