Anticompetive behavior vs market forces
This is a discussion I have been waiting to see happen for years. The question is whether Google can control a market via a "free" (as in no cost to consumers) set of services it provides that can only be obtained by the consumer taking specific actions to choose to use the service, or are competitors complaining because the solutions they are presenting to consumers are inferior enough that the consumers do not trust them and are not willing to take the equal specific action steps to use their services.
This sooo reeks of "Atlas Shrugged" mentality in the veiled discussions and "studies" that the complaining companies would better serve themselves and consumers by studying what Google has done in the overall search "experience." To demand placement rank - whether deserved or not - is the same as K-mart demanding that it's products get equal shelf space in a Macy's store. Oh, and suing Macy's for not doing as they demand.
While I have my own issues with Google, I do have to give them the respect and praise for the R&D work they have been doing for decades on their products. If relative newcomers to the market have catch-up to do, well... welcome to the real world. To insist that a company degrades an offering it makes as a free service for all, just so your inferior product looks better, benefits no one.
Consumers choose what they like. If it's a "free" service they are merciless in expectations and quality. If you aren't chosen, then your only real option is to fix what your market does not like that may be as simple as a single color.
I say, "Go Google! Set the bar high and keep relevancy of results the only thing that matters. Make your competitors compete and improve their products."