Google is facing a new complaint from French vertical search engine purveyor 1PlusV, which said Google is preventing its properties from using AdSense to make money.
Google continues to face heat in Europe over its business
practices, as a French company sent a fresh complaint to the European
Commission arguing that the search engine is blocking it from using its ad
1PlusV, the parent company of eJustice, one of the three
vertical search engines in Europe that
an antitrust complaint against Google last year, argued that
Google was preventing its Websites from using the AdSense ad mechanism
for associating ads links with search terms. 1PlusV runs vertical
search engines focused on law, culture and music.
Marie-C??Â«cile Rameau, a lawyer representing 1plusV,
Google's "blacklisting" of Websites impinges the development of vertical search engines, thus
denying consumers access to other Web search options. The Associated Press
and Financial Times
have more details about the complaint.
The Commission, which last November opened
a formal investigation into Google's search and search ad practices,
said it would let Google comment on 1PlusV's allegations before taking any steps.
Google declined to discuss 1PlusV's complaint directly,
"We have been working closely with the European
Commission to explain many different parts of our business. While we have
always tried to do the right thing for our users and advertisers, we recognize
that there's always room for improvement."
If the European Commission decides to tack on 1PlusV's
complaint to its current investigation, it would be the second time the
Commission widened the protracted investigation against Google.
In December, the Commission added
from a conglomerate of 450 newspaper and magazine publishers, known as the
B.D.Z.V. and V.D.Z., and Euro-Cities, an online mapping specialist, to its
current scrutiny into Google's search practices.
Google's search practices came under fire in February 2010 from vertical
shopping sites Foundem, eJustice, and Microsoft's Ciao!, which argued that
the search engine had pushed down their services in its Google.com search
pages, in favor of its own product shopping services.
The search engine denied any bad acting to boost its own
services, arguing that Websites such as Ejustice violated its rules for surfacing
its Website on Google.com.
Google is facing
similar allegations of antitrust violations in the United States from
the Texas attorney general, who asked for reams of info on Google's ad
shopping search and the ranking of Websites in search results and ad
Google is also
strong opposition from online travel companies over its proposed bid
to acquire ITA Software for $700 million. Expedia and other parties fear the
deal would give Google too much power over the online travel market.