Internet: Brussels fixes sights on Google
25 February 2010
Three European Internet sites have asked the European Commission to look into what they claim are unfair business practices by Google, the US-based search engine. "Google's strength worries Europeans," runs a headline in Le Figaro. The French daily reports that two of the plaintiffs, a price search engine and a legal search site, have accused Google of unfairly relegating the search results for their sites to the bottom of the rung. The third company, also a price search engine, is reportedly unhappy about the terms and conditions of online advertising contracts.
Complaints against Google, which claims 90% of the European search engine market, have already been filed with antitrust authorities in Germany and Italy. France is also preparing to open an investigation, Le Figaro reports. "The irony is that the Internet giant is now the target of a Commission inquiry, while Microsoft has buried the hatchet with Brussels," Le Figaro comments. "It would be better for Google if the comparison stopped there. Microsoft was forced to pay €1.68 billion in fines after ten years of legal wrangling over of antitrust accusations."