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Google is facing nine European Commission complaints

Eight small firms and Microsoft point fingers
Wed Aug 03 2011, 14:37

ADVERTISING BROKER Google is facing nine antitrust complaints, not just the four that were originally confirmed by the European Commission.

Reuters' sources claim that Google has been accused by five more firms, bringing the total up to nine that the European Commission has to deal with. Google has been accused by small firms of demoting their web sites in search results because they compete against Google's own products. Then followed Microsoft's intervention, complaining to the EU that Google had somehow systematically stifled internet search innovation.

Although Reuters' sources would not reveal their names, the pair told the news service, "The Commission has nine formal complaints now. The new complaints come from small companies."

While the European Commission continues its probe of Google, the US Federal Trade Commission is also looking into accusations that the internet search giant abused its position, with the US Senate's antitrust panel scheduling a hearing regarding Google on 21 September.

Microsoft's complaint to the European Commission is the firm's first and carries a great deal of irony. The EU rebuked Microsoft for shipping its Internet Explorer web browser with Windows, handing down a hefty fine and ordering the firm to change its ways. So it's not surprising that Microsoft, when given a chance to turn the tables on a rival would level the same complaint that a decade ago it tried to defend against.

Reuters said that both the European Commission and Google declined comment on this latest news. µ


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