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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Google Inc.'s methods for recommending websites are being reviewed by Texas' attorney general in an investigation spurred by complaints that the company has abused its power as the Internet's dominant search engine.
The antitrust inquiry disclosed by Google late Friday is just the latest sign of the intensifying scrutiny facing the company as its enters its adolescence. Since its inception in a Silicon Valley garage 12 years ago, Google has gone from a quirky startup to one of the world's most influential businesses with annual revenue approaching $30 billion.
The review appears to be focused on whether Google is manipulating its search results to stifle competition.
The pecking order of those results can make or break websites because Google's search engine processes about two-thirds of the search requests in the U.S. and handles even more volume in some parts of the world. That dominance means a website ranking high on the first page of Google's results will likely attract more traffic and generate more revenue, either from ads or merchandise sales.
European regulators already have been investigating complaints alleging that Google has been favoring its own services in its results instead of rival websites.
Several lawsuits filed in the U.S. also have alleged Google's search formula is biased. Google believes Abbott is the first state attorney general to open an antitrust review into the issue.
[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 1:15 pm (utc) on Sep 4, 2010]
[edit reason] added link [/edit]
The Texas Attorney Generalís office asked for information about a number of companies whose cases have been well publicized. Here is some background on them:
Foundem - the British price comparison site that is backed by ICOMP, an organization funded largely by Microsoft. (...) SourceTool/TradeComet (...) represented by longtime Microsoft antitrust attorneys myTriggers - Another site represented by Microsoft's antitrust attorneys (...)
Microsoft is a monopoly as a OS manufacturer for PCs and is treated like a monopoly. Google is a monopoly as a search engine and should be regulated as a monopoly as well. No doubt at all.
Do we all get equal right to prime shelf space at walmart also?
BTW, how do you measure name similarity?
Is there any spelling issues that may be a factor in this suggestion made by google?
Agree that "monopoly" is an emotionally charged word. Monopoly (among the many definitions possible) is "controlling access and entry" into any field or endeavor. Google's business methodology does fit in that regard... (philosophical statement, nothing more)
Those who can not compete blame Google for their failures. That's the bottom line.