Texas conducting antitrust review of Google

Google on Friday said that the Texas Attorney General's Office is conducting an antitrust review of the search giant, following a similar investigation launched in Europe earlier this year.

The attorney general's office has asked Google for information regarding Foundem, SourceTool/TradeComet and myTriggers, each of which have complained in the past that Google pushed them down its search rankings or reduced their appeal to advertisers.

As it did during the initiation of the European Commission antitrust investigation, Google on Friday highlighted connections between the complainants and Microsoft. Foundem, Google notes, is backed by the Initiative for Competitive Online Marketplace, an organization funded in part by Microsoft. MyTriggers and SourceTool/TradeComment are represented by Microsoft antitrust attorneys, Google said.

Microsoft has responded in the past that antitrust complaints usually do come from competitors.

In its blog post, Google said it recognizes that as it grows, it will face more questions about how its business works. "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," Don Harrison, deputy general counsel at Google, wrote in the post.

Google is cooperating with the Texas Attorney General's Office.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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