Feeds

Europe opens full probe into Google

Accused of 'gaming' its own search results

Security for virtualized datacentres

The European Commission has opened a formal probe into allegations that Google has abused its dominant position in online search by illegally favouring its own services.

Formal proceedings follow complaints from search providers that Google's sponsored and unpaid search results showed preference to Google's own services.

Investigators will look for evidence that Google lowered the results position of rival services such as price comparison sites in its unpaid results. The commission will also look at allegations that Google unfairly lowered the "Quality Score" for sponsored links of competing services.

The European Commission also plans to investigate claims that Google imposes exclusivity agreements with advertisers which prevent them from displaying adverts from rival search services on their own sites.

It will also look at allegations of restrictions of the portability of online advertising campaign data to other online advertising platforms.

The Commission said that the opening of an investigation in no way suggested the search giant was guilty of anti-trust offences.

Google sent us the following: “Since we started Google, we have worked hard to do the right thing by our users and our industry – ensuring that ads are always clearly marked, making it easy for users to take their data with them when they switch services and investing heavily in open source projects. But there’s always going to be room for improvement, and so we’ll be working with the commission to address any concerns.”

The commission's statement on its Google investigation is here.

The investigation has been a long time coming with an initial investigation opening in February.

This was based on complaints from Microsoft, price comparison site Foundem and a French legal search site called ejustice.fr.

There's more on Foundem's Google complaints here.

The search giant has long claimed its search results are based purely on algorithms, not people, and it cannot reveal how they work because doing so would allow companies to 'game' the system. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC
And ISPs should nab 'em on our behalf
Former Bitcoin Foundation chair pleads guilty to money-laundering charge
Charlie Shrem plea deal could still get him five YEARS in chokey
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.