THE EU has launched a formal investigation into Google after a series of anti-trust complaints.
A number of competitors have complained that Google bumps them down its search rankings in order to maintain its market dominance. A German firm owned by arch rival Microsoft has also complained about Google’s advertising terms and conditions.
Google denies any wrongdoing but says it will cooperate with investigators. It will be desperate to avoid a protracted EU investigation like the one which dogged Microsoft for over a decade and ended with it being fined £1.5bn.
Google could be fined up to 10 per cent of its revenues if found guilty – around £1.55bn. A Google spokesman said: “There is always going to be room for improvement.
“We built Google for users, not websites, and the nature of ranking is that some websites will be unhappy with where they rank.
“Those sites have complained over the years, but in all cases there were compelling reasons why their sites were ranked poorly by our algorithms.”