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EU Opens Antitrust Probe Into Google Search

Dec 01, 2010, 17:34 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kenneth Corbin)

"European antitrust authorities have launched an investigation into Google's search business, probing whether the Web company has used its dominant position to unfairly crowd out competitors.

"The European Commission said it opened the investigation following complaints from specialty search providers that Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has been lowering the page rank of their services in favor of its own. A Web search for pricing comparisons, for instance, might unfairly prioritize Google's own offering ahead of a competitor's.

"European authorities are also examining a set of anticompetitive allegations surrounding Google's advertising business, including the charge that the company has been deliberately lowering the quality score -- a key metric that determines how much advertisers pay for sponsored links on Google's site -- attached to competitors' paid search ads."

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