US state scrutinizes Google search tacticsFeb 17, 2011www.breitbart.com
The top attorney for the state of Texas on Wednesday revealed a list of demands for inside information intended to ferret out whether Google abused its power in the online search ad arena. Texas attorney general Greg Abbott wanted names of people responsible for Google ads, search results, and business relations along with internal documents and minutes from meetings at the California firm.
The "civil investigative demand" paperwork dated July 29 of last year stated the intent was to investigate "the possibility of monopolization in the market for Internet search advertising."
Abbott's office would not discuss whether Google had complied with the demands.
"We're continuing to work with the Texas attorney general's office to answer their questions and understand any concerns," Google said in an email response to an AFP inquiry.
"Since we started Google we have worked hard to do the right thing by our users and our industry, and while there?s always going to be room for improvement, we're committed to competing fair and square."
Google is focused on delivering the most relevant results and ads to users, said deputy counsel Don Harrison who disclosed Abbott's antitrust inquiry more than five months ago in a blog post.
"Our focus is on users, not websites," Harrison said.
"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."
The more than 50 requests itemized on three pages included any documents related to the manual override of search results generated by Google's automated algorithm, as well as the blacklisting of any websites.
Google's dominance of the multi-billion-dollar online search market has put it in crosshairs of regulators concerned it might abuse its position.
The US Justice Department is reportedly considering a court challenge to Google's $700 million acquisition of travel information company ITA Software.
Federal antitrust lawyers were said to be examining whether acquiring ITA, which powers many of the Web's most popular travel sites, would give the Internet search giant too much sway over the online travel industry.
Online travel firms have urged the US authorities to block the deal.
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