Texas Probes Google on Ranking of Search Results
Posted in: Legal, Privacy & Security at 05/09/2010 21:44
The Texas attorney general has opened an antitrust investigation into how Google ranks search results, the first United States case to strike at the heart of the company's main search business.
The issue at hand -- referred to as search neutrality -- is whether Google manipulates results to thwart competitors and advance its own businesses. Some companies worry that Google has the power to discriminate against them by lowering their listings in search results or charging higher fees for their paid search ads.
Texas Attorney General Investigates Google Search
Google said Friday that the Texas attorney general, Greg Abbott, is conducting an antitrust review of its search business.
The examination involves the fairness of Google search results, a concept called search neutrality. Some companies worry Google has the power to discriminate against them by lowering their links in search results or charging higher fees for their paid search ads.
Google faces first US competition inquiry
Regulators in Texas have launched the first broad anti-trust review of Google's search and advertising practices in the US.
While federal regulators in Washington have investigated the impact on competition of Google's business deals in the past, Greg Abbott, Texas attorney general, is the first regulator to look more broadly at its core search business, amid growing concerns about the power the online business wields.
Officials in Brussels have also raised the prospect of a possible inquiry into anti-competitive behaviour by Google. Leading competition official, Joaquín Almunia, said in July he would examine complaints from three companies, including Microsoft, that the search engine had been unfairly demoting rivals in its rankings.
Google faces Texas AG inquiry, settles privacy suit
Google Inc said on Friday it was the target of an investigation by the Texas Attorney General's office into the fairness of its search engine rankings.
The world No. 1 search engine company said the probe is the first by a U.S. legal authority into the fairness of its rankings, which can make or break commercial websites.
Texas attorney general to investigate complaints about Google's search engine [AP]
Google's methods for recommending Web sites are being reviewed by the Texas state attorney general in an investigation spurred by complaints that the company has abused its power as the Internet's dominant search engine.
The antitrust inquiry, disclosed by Google late Friday, is the latest sign of the intensifying scrutiny facing the company as its enters its adolescence. Since its inception in a Silicon Valley garage 12 years ago, Google has gone from a quirky startup to one of the world's most influential businesses, with annual revenue approaching $30 billion.
Texas watchdog reviews Google's practices
The company faces the first broad antitrust probe of its core search business, in its latest fight to contain legal challenges prompted by its spreading influence on online life
Texas Launches Antitrust Probe Of Google
Google revealed Friday that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is conducting an antitrust probe of the Internet firm, focusing on whether the company manipulates its search results.
The probe appears similar to one launched by the European Union, which is investigating similar claims made by Google competitors, including the British price comparison site Foundem, which filed a complaint with the EU against Google earlier this year. According to Google Deputy General Counsel Don Harrison, Abbott has asked for information about Foundem as well as SourceTool, a business-to-business search engine owned by TradeComet, and price comparison site myTriggers, which claims its business has suffered because Google reduced its ad quality ratings, Harrison said in a blog post.