European Commission Widens Google Inquiry

    December 17, 2010

Google’s lawyers in Europe, who have been forced to deal with all sorts of investigations and inquiries over the past few years, have just had more obstacles dropped in their way.  A new report’s indicated that the European Commission will look into two antitrust complaints originating in Germany.

The complaints come from two publishers and one mapping company, and first surfaced quite a while ago.  But to recap: the publishers, which control a huge number of newspapers and magazines, feel Google favors its own properties in search results and should share some of the ad revenue other companies’ articles help generate.

The mapping firm, meanwhile, has argued that Google’s made it too difficult for other organizations to compete with its free products.

Anyway, James Kanter, who broke the story of the European Commission taking interest in the complaints, noted, "The German cases . . . will give a more European flavor to an investigation that so far has been dominated by complaints by companies that have received support from the U.S. software giant Microsoft."

It remains unknown when the probe might move forward (or officially turn up nothing).  Google maintains it’s done nothing wrong and says it will cooperate with the investigation.