October 9, 2009


SearchNeutrality.org is a Foundem initiative.

All of the articles and blog posts on searchneutrality.org have been written by Foundem co-founders, Adam and Shivaun Raff.

In October 2009 we were in Brussels meeting with policy makers and regulators (in a process that ultimately led to our filing a European antitrust complaint against Google). During these meetings it became clear that the issues surrounding network neutrality were high on the digital agenda in the US and in Europe, but that the issues of search engine bias were not.

The European Internet Foundation (EIF), for example, had recently published its Digital World in 2025 report laying out its predictions for the digital challenges of the next fifteen years. This report made no mention of search engines as a source for concern. This, despite the increasingly vital role played by search engines in steering traffic and revenues through the global digital economy, and the fact that a single US corporation has an 85% global share of this crucial channel to market.

The penny dropped that by framing our concerns under the, highly appropriate, label of “search neutrality”, we could tap into the considerable educational effort that had been invested in the very similar concerns of network neutrality over the years.

We registered the domain name searchneutrality.org on the train back from Brussels, and launched the site on October 11 2009 with its first article defining and making the case for search neutrality.

Search neutrality is not an academic concept to us. It is a framework for addressing one of the greatest threats to diversity, innovation, and healthy competition the Internet has ever faced.

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