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European Union Widens Google Antitrust Investigation

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 12-20-2010 Print
Europe's antitrust watchdog took up two cases accusing Google of favoring its own search and Web services over that of German publishers and an online mapping company.

The European Commission has tacked on two German cases to its antitrust investigation into whether or not Google is unfairly promoting its own Web services in its search results on Google.com.

The New York Times said the Commission has taken up complaints from a conglomerate of 450 newspaper and magazine publishers, known as the B.D.Z.V. and V.D.Z., and Euro-Cities, an online mapping specialist.

Presumably, this will add more evidential wood to the commission's broader case, which crystallized late last month based on complaints from vertical search engines Foundem, Microsoft's Ciao and eJustice.

These companies alleged in February that Google surfaces links for Google Product Search and other Web services over links to their own comparison shopping engines on Google.com.

The European Commission said Nov. 30:

"The Commission will investigate whether Google has abused a dominant market position in online search by allegedly lowering the ranking of unpaid search results of competing services which are specialized in providing users with specific online content such as price comparisons and by according preferential placement to the results of its own vertical search services in order to shut out competing services."


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