Google will face antitrust investigation from the Texas Attorney General's office following complaints from three Web-based firms.
The companies, Foundem, SourceTool/TradeComet and myTriggers, have accused Google of deliberately affecting their web traffic by reducing their ranking on its search engine.
The Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office has asked Google to explain the allegations made by the companies and give a detailed report on exactly how its website ranking system works.
In a blog post, Google's Don Harrison, the Deputy General Counsel, wrote: “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.”
Google also indicated that the anti-trust investigation could be traced back to software giant Microsoft, as all three companies are linked to Microsoft.
Foundem is backed by a company funded by Microsoft, while SourceTool and myTriggers are being represented by Microsoft antitrust attorneys.