This news just came my way this afternoon via a blog post on the Mocality web site. Mocality is Kenya’s largest mobile and online business directory with in excess of 170,000 listed businesses to-date. Mocality has been growing by leaps and bounds for the last few years owing to its novel approach of using freelance agents to collect and populate business listings in its directory, In fact, by any measure, whether offline or online, Mocality has managed to build the single largest and most current repository of business listings large and small in Kenya, as well as throughout the African continent.
Therefore, through this blog post written by Stefan Magdalinski of MIH Internet who happen to own Mocality, I am really shocked as to what seems to be brazenly underhanded moves by Google that are undermining Mocality’s business. Basically, to sum it up, since Google launched their Kenya Business Online (KBO) initiative a few months ago in Kenya, it seems they have approached possibly as many as 30% of Mocality’s listed businesses seeking to have them set-up KBO business pages. In addition, in all of these instances, Google has been misleading businesses by stating that they are infact working in partnership with Mocality, which is not true.
It seems Google is demonstrating what seems to be unsavory business practices not just in Kenya, but even in North America where they are using their leverage as the world’s leading search engine to give themselves unfair competitive advantage in the marketplace. These practices will indeed lead to a major backlash for Google should they continue playing dirty. Frankly, I am really surprised since Google has always seemed to play fair as far as I know.