The New York Times is reporting this morning that Google is alleged to have provided "preferential placement" of its own online services. There are also allegations, according to the EC, that Google may be guilty of "unfavorable treatment" in Google's unpaid and sponsored search results on behalf of specialized search-related companies.
This latest focus only adds to Google's woes here. In addition to the recent proposed class action over Gmail scanning and privacy violations, US authorities have had Google under the spotlight for some time, scrutinizing Google's various acquisitions and other business-related undertakings with an eye to an allegation of being anti-competitive.
There have been no formal charges or proceedings against Google by US regulators.
Allegations against Google currently under investigation by the EC include the potential for manipulation of the so-called Quality Score, a quantifier that is used to decide how much an advertiser pays Google to buy ads linked to a particular keyword in the burgeoning online marketplace.
Complaints on the part of three companies have fostered the most recent allegations against Google. Foundem, a British price-comparison service; Ciao, a price-comparison service in Germany owned by Microsoft; and eJustice, a French legal search tool, have alleged anti-competition practices on the part of Google.
The search engine and online juggernaut is already under investigation for alleged antitrust activities in Italy, Germany and France.
READ MORE Antitrust LEGAL NEWS
"But there's always going to be room for improvement, and so we'll be working with the commission to address any concerns," the company said.
The EC is also looking into allegations that Google unfairly lowered the rankings of competing search entities. The Commission noted that it would make its investigation a priority, although the EC admitted it has no proof thus far relating to the allegations. Unlike its 66 percent share in the US, Google controls more than 80 percent of the online search market in Europe, according to figures released from ComScore.