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US state investigates Google

Results fixing allegations dog search engine
Mon Sep 06 2010, 14:18

SEARCH IS NOT NEUTRAL say Google's accusers that are investigating the company for fiddling its search engine results.

Texas authorities have asked for details on three companies as part of their investigation - Foundem, a British price comparison site, Sourcetool and Mytriggers - all of which have close links with Microsoft. Foundem, which is part owned by Microsoft, has already been cited as a complainant in the European Union for a similar investigation, and Soucetool has had a private lawsuit on the matter dismissed in a US federal court.

Google is already facing antitrust probes by the EU, the US Department of Justice and the Italian government, and there are calls for an investigation in France. Google said that Mytriggers is also represented by Microsoft lawyers, and evidence has been discovered that its traffic loss was actually down to overheating servers.

"We're looking forward to working co-operatively with the Texas Attorney General's office. We work hard to explain our approach to search and how our ranking works, and we also listen carefully to people's concerns," said Don Harrison, Google's deputy general counsel in a blog post.

In the US, Consumer Watchdog has called for Google to be broken up to introduce more competition. For more analysis of Microsoft's ties to Google antitrust investigations, go here. µ



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