November 30, 2010, 1:16 PM — There are plenty of reasons to investigate Google.
There's the routine mega-hoarding of private user data, plus the deceptive (possibly illegal) collection of private wireless data from Google Street View photo vans, the oddly esoteric way its apps save data so there's no obvious way to see it all at once; its little contretemps with China during the summer.
The European Union's governing body is investigating it for something that's really not worth investigating, though: being a search engine that excludes other search engines among its own results.
Three French companies -- one of them owned by competitor Microsoft -- claim harm from being left out of Google results.
The charge is that it has established a dominant position and is abusing it '' "turning an ostensibly neutral search engine into an incredibly powerful marketing channel for their own services," according to accusations by the European Commission.
Beyond its search engine, Google competes in apps and content services. It is these that the EC accuses Google of favoring above those owned by other companies.
Maybe it does. I see Google services in search results more often than I find those from Microsoft, though I do see Microsoft.
When I search in Bing (usually by mistake), I rarely see any answers but often see Microsoft services. But I'm in the U.S. where that kind of thing is winked at.