Following complaints from other search organizations the European Union has launched an antitrust probe against search giant, Google.
The complaints were lodged by price comparison site Foundem legal search engine eujustice.fr. Another search engine, Ciao, based in the U.K. and owned by Microsoft has also complained.
According to the BBC, these sites have alleged that Google manipulates its search results as a result of which these sites get a lower ranking than they deserve.
A statement from EU says “The European Commission has decided to open an antitrust investigation into allegations that Google has abused a dominant position in online search.”
The EU has decided to take this action based on the complaints which allege that Google gives unfavourable treatment to these sites while Google sites receive preferential treatment.
A Google statement says, “Since we started, Google we have worked hard to do the right thing by our users and our industry, But there’s always going to be room for improvement, and so we’ll be working with the Commission to address any concerns.”
The EU has clarified that the launch of the probe does not signify that Google is guilty, but they will treat the complaints seriously.
Sir Martin Sorell Chief Executive of WPP the world’s largest advertising agency says, “Search is the portal to the internet and Google has a colossal share, I do not think that the investigation is surprising, given the strategic importance of the internet.”
In their complaint Foundem has said that sites such as Foundem duplicate most of their results which causes them to receive a lower ranking.
Ciao on their part have complained that Google imposes some exclusivity obligations which prevent them from using the same ads on other sites. But Google refutes that claim too. They say they had a good relationship with Ciao until it was taken over by Microsoft.