Texas AG launches Google antitrust probe

Robert Clark
06 Sep 2010

The Texas Attorney General has begun a probe into Google page rank – the first by a US agency into the technology at the core of Google’s search business.

The anti-trust inquiry – one of a mounting number of probes into the tech giant - will examine the fairness of Google’s search results, Google revealed in a blog posting Friday.

Deputy general counsel Don Harrison said the Texan AG had sought information about three companies, including UK price comparison site Foundem, whose complaint is now under investigation by European anti-trust authorities.

Harrison said Foundem was backed by ICOMP, a Microsoft-funded industry group, while the other two firms – Source Tool/Trade Comet and myTriggers – had employed former Microsoft antitrust attorneys.

He said Google’s search technology aimed to satisfy “users, not websites.”

“Given that not every website can be at the top of the results, or even appear on the first page of our results, it’s unsurprising that some less relevant, lower quality websites will be unhappy with their ranking,” he said.

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