Skip to main content

EU investigates Google over ads, search results

First Street View and now this. Europe does not want to leave Google alone. European Union antitrust regulators are investigating the search company on complaints that it has abused its dominant position by giving its own services preferential placement in search results, demoting competing websites and services, and stopping some websites from accepting rival ads. Microsoft’s Ciao service from Bing, French legal search engine, and U.K. price comparison site Foundem filed the antitrust complaint, reports Bloomberg.

The EU, which announced this investigation in February, said it does not yet have any prove of infringements, but is making the case a priority. It will investigate whether Google lowered the rankings of competing search engines and artificially raised the placement of its own services on search result pages. Regulators will also check whether Google manipulate its Quality Scores, which help determine how much advertisers pay Google to buy ads for any search keyword.

Related Videos

In an e- mailed statement, Foundem accused Google of “stifling innovation,” claiming that it “should not be allowed to discriminate in favor of its own services” and should be forced to blatantly label its own services in results.

Google, for its part, seems open to the investigation. “There’s always going to be room for improvement and so we’ll be working with the commission to address any concerns,” Google, based in Mountain View, California said.

The EU is not a laughing matter. Its antitrust regulators have the ability to fine companies for up to 10 percent of their revenue if found guilty of monopoly abuses. In the past, it has fined Intel and Microsoft for more than $1 billion each. Earlier this year, it launched an investigation into IBM’s server mainframe business.

Editors' Recommendations

5 things I love in the Google Docs redesign
Google Workspace in Firefox on a Windows laptop.

Google is refreshing the look of Google Docs, Slides, Drive, and Sheets. The changes are happening across the board for Google Workspace subscribers and free personal accounts. I love that we all get to enjoy the changes, and there are five things, in particular, that really stand out to me as significant improvements.

This is a continuation of the Material Design 3 updates to Gmail last year. If you are happy with how Gmail looks, you’ll probably enjoy the new Docs as well.
Subtle color adds structure

Read more
You can use the power of ChatGPT in Google Slides now
The MagidSlides extension for Google Slides up close.

The prowess of OpenAI's ChatGPT continues to expand beyond its initial interface, most recently via a new Google Workspace app called MagicSlides that has surfaced to be a companion for building projects in Google Slides.

The app works as a Google Workspace plug-in, which you can install and then access from the Extensions option within a Google Slides presentation. It also requires you to have an OpenAI account, because you will need to have an API key to keep track of your usage. You can generate a key from your account in the View API keys section.

Read more
You could be creeped out by Bing Chat on the go soon
Microsoft Edge browser is open on an iPhone.

Microsoft's latest changes to Bing Chat must be making the company feel more comfortable with the AI's stability. Microsoft is pressing forward, it seems, as a mobile version has been spotted by a few people who received early access.

Microsoft announced in a February 7 blog post that a mobile experience would be available soon. Less than two weeks later, it is beginning to arrive, despite the recent trouble with Bing Chat becoming unhinged and declaring that it wants to be human.

Read more