EC launches Google anti-trust probe

Michael Carroll
25/02/2010
News
Daily News

Google says it will cooperate with a European Commission anti-trust probe into its dominance of the search market.

The EC has launched an investigation at the request of three firms – price comparison site Foundem, French online legal services guide ejustice.fr, and Microsoft-backed German portal Ciao – who complain that Google is using its market power to limit competition their ability to compete.

A spokesman for the search giant said the investigation was at an early stage.

“At this stage this is a fact-finding exercise and we’re happy to answer the commission’s questions,” the staffer told telecomasia.net. “We are happy to explain our products and technology, and are very confident that our business operates in the interests of users and partners, as well as within European competition law.”

Google acknowledged on its corporate blog that Foundem and ejustice.fr j had complained that “our algorithms demote their site in our results because they are a vertical search engine and so a direct competitor to Google. “

The Times newspaper said that one of the complainants says Google presents itself as neutral, despite the fact it uses its search services to market its own services.

According to the complainant, Google’s own price comparison service comes top of the list of results when a user searches for a specific item they want to buy. The same goes for searches for video content.

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