Google is getting the first "broad" anti-trust review of its U.S.-related search and advertising initiatives by Texas-based Attorney General Greg Abbott, The Guardian reported Sunday.
According to IT Pro Portal, the probe will evaluate the mechanism behind the search engine giant's Web-ranking system. Google Deputy General Counsel Don Harrison explained in a blog post that the company was "looking forward" to the inquiry because it is "confident that Google operates in the best interests" of the users.
The news comes in light of complaints issued by shopping comparison sites MyTriggers (U.S.) and Foundem (UK) as well as SourceTool (U.S.), an e-commerce site working for businesses, The Associated Press explained last week. Features that are offered by the sites show up on Google searches, but The Guardian mentioned that Google is being accused of deliberately slicing the sites' traffic by lowering their search rankings.
"The important thing to remember is that we built Google to provide the most useful, relevant search results and ads for users. In other words, our focus is on users, not websites. Given that not every website can be at the top of the results, or even appear on the first page of our results, it's unsurprising that some less relevant, lower-quality websites will be unhappy with their ranking," Harrison stated.
The Guardian added that Google might be placed under investigation in Brussels by Joaquín Almunia, a competition official, who would examine similar complaints put forth by three firms, Microsoft being one of them. The Financial Times noted that the European Commission would soon decide whether the preliminary review would grow into a "full-blown" case.