There are a number of similarities between Google and Toyota, the Japanese car manufacturer. A few hours ago, an executive told US congressmen that the world's largest car maker might have grown too fast.
Now the European Commission said that it will be launching a preliminary investigation into the company's dominating online search and advertising businesses which account for the bulk of its revenues.
Google therefore rejoins the likes of Microsoft and Intel amongst those US companies that have been investigated by Brussels outside normal mergers and acquisitions.
Some are saying that Microsoft, possibly Google most formidable foe, is behind the latest move by the European commission. Ciao, one of the three petitioners, is owned by Microsoft while Foundem, the second one, is part of an industry entity named the Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace (ICOMP), which is partly financed by Microsoft.
In Europe, Google's domination in the search sector has reached Microsoft-esque proportions. It accounts for more than 90 percent of search in the UK and more than four fifth of web searches across Europe is done through it.
Lately Google has been firing on all cylinders, launching a mobile platform (Android), an operating system (ChromeOS), a web browser (Chrome), its first mobile phone (NexusOne), a social networking tool (Buzz), an attempt to roll out Gigabit broadband at least in the US and just a few hours ago, a comparison tool (Comparison Ads) that could significantly impact on the market.
No wonder therefore that there are rumours that Google might face a similar probe in the US.
Many will see here an attempt by Microsoft to get Google to get down dirty and fight in a legal courtroom. Furthermore, Google could be forced to provide with more details about its Pagerank system in order to prove that it is not tinkering with its algorithms to exclude competitors.