(New York Times)
European antitrust investigators are asking advertisers whether Google suggested they increase spending with the company in return for improved visibility in its Web search results. The investigators are also examining whether Google stymied companies who had tried to move their business elsewhere. The queries are among about 120 questions sent as part of the European Union’s inquiry, opened late last year, into possible antitrust abuses by Google.
A copy of the confidential questionnaire, seen by The International Herald Tribune, seeks to ascertain whether Google manipulated search results and used its popular platform to keep business and disadvantage rivals in online advertising and Internet search.