There are few companies out there that have the guts to take on Google, and most of them that try end up failing. Even so, there’s a French search engine by the name of Qwant that believes it can use the growing distrust of Google within Europe to its advantage. With an 85% market share in the European search engine market, it’s about time a company arose that could possibly challenge Google’s position at the head of the market.
Only a brave — or maybe foolhardy — company would take on Google. Yet from a small office near the banks of the river Seine, a French search engine called Qwant is doing just that. The French start-up, whose product was released 18 months ago, is tapping into growing anger here that Google has too much control over how Europeans surf the web. Some of the region’s lawmakers have already called for the breakup of the American search giant, while the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, is in the middle of a long antitrust investigation into Google’s roughly 85 percent share of the European search engine market. “There’s a need for a choice,” Jean Manuel Rozan, a former financier who co-founded Qwant in 2011, said recently over a cup of coffee. “Europe is the only place in the world where people think that Google is the Internet.” Turning Europe’s anti-Google sentiment into a successful business, however, is easier said than done.
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