Ireland has launched an inquiry into its long-term relationship with Google, the company which has been accused of being a “Google for the Irish” and of promoting “discrimination”.
A report released on Monday by the National Research Council (NRC) said the country’s technology sector needs to look at the “impact of Google’s dominance” on Irish employment and the economy.
It also called on companies to make sure they “are not engaging in discriminatory practices that may harm the Irish workforce or the economy”.
The NRC also said it had evidence of a number of practices that could affect Irish workers in the digital sector.
Among the issues highlighted in the report was the “Google effect” in the Irish economy.
Google is widely considered to be a “global” company and therefore should be a global market.
However, the NRC said this did not appear to be the case, with the US firm operating in only four countries, including Ireland.
“Ireland is a technology-rich nation with a strong tech sector and it is therefore important that the Irish Government and the sector are able to work together to address the impact of Google,” the report said.
The NPC said it believed Google’s business practices in Ireland “were likely to result in job losses and harm the economy in other ways”.
“Given the size of Google and its influence, the Government should be mindful of the impacts of Google on Ireland and its economy,” it added.
“The impact of the Google effect is felt by many workers, including young people and women.
The impact on employment of a discriminatory Google search can be enormous.”
The NCC said it found evidence that Google’s practices were “a major barrier to entry for companies seeking to enter the Irish market”.
“The effect of Google search on employment is substantial and can have a detrimental effect on employment,” it said.
It recommended that Google should be investigated by the NPC’s Independent Review Authority.
Google declined to comment.