According to the Financial Times, the European commission, which is headquartered in Brussels, has opened a full investigation into the business operations of Google.
Included in the investigation according to the story are the following issues:
Did Google lower the ranking of unpaid search results from competing services and gave preferential placement to the results of its own vertical search services to shut out competitors?
Did Google lower the “quality score” for sponsored links of competing vertical search services?
Did Google imposed exclusivity obligations on its advertising partners, preventing them from placing competing advertising on their websites?
Does Google restrict the movement of online advertising data to competing advertising platforms.
The market is certainly not liking the news as shares of Google are down over $17 a share about 3%.
Check out the full FT.com story for more info including the quote from an attorney involved in filing one of the complaints that “this is a game changer” and that “It’s quite a broad investigation, so not just simply about vertical search. It’s also about practises and contracts with a wide range of third parties”