INTERNET/ANTI-TRUST POLICY : COMMISSION SOUNDS OUT GOOGLE'S COMPETITORS.

To determine whether Google is manipulating internet search results, the European Commission has submitted around 100 questions to competing search engines, advertising agencies and other market players as part of an anti-trust investigation launched in late November 2010.

The questionnaires were sent out before Christmas, a Commission spokesman confirmed in the wake of reports in the press, but "this is not really a new step" since the institution is in the habit of sounding out the market in its investigations into alleged anti-competitive practices. In this case, the Commission wishes to check whether Google - with its 90% market share - has abused its dominant position, in particular by lowering the ranking of its competitors' free and paid services, such as free price comparisons, to give preferential treatment to its own services.

According to Le Figaro, the following are some of the questions posed by the Commission: "Has your company noticed any sudden and significant...

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