"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
"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."