Brussels – The European Commission announced on Tuesday that
it will open an investigation into allegations of anti-competitive behavior by
Google (NASD: GOOG) in Europe. The Commission will examine charges that Google manipulated
its rankings to demote offerings from U.K. shopping site Foundem; French search
engine Ejustice.fr; and Microsoft-owned search engine Ciao.
The Commission will
also look into a charge that Google is imposing exclusivity obligations on
advertisers, demanding they create unique ads for serving via Google that
cannot be used on competing search engines.
"We respect their process and
will continue to work closely with the Commission to answer their
questions," Google said in a blog post.
The company additionally told CNET
that both Google and independent sources have found the services making these
complaints to "generally be of lower quality," noting that Foundem’s
content is duplicated from other websites, while Ejustice.fr actually uses
Google’s own search service to provide results — both factors that would lead
to a lower ranking by Google.
(European Commission statement)