French site Ejustice.fr charges Google with fresh abuse

BRUSSELS Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:03am EST

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Google has continued to thwart rivals despite complaints of anticompetitive behavior filed with EU antitrust regulators last year, the creator of French legal search engine Ejustice.fr said on Tuesday.

The French company is one of three online search engines that have already accused the world's No. 1 in web search of abusing its dominant position by demoting rival sites in results and giving preference to its own services.

The European Commission is investigating the allegations.

1plusV, which created Ejustice.fr, music search engine E-Musicpro.com and culture search engine Eguides.fr, said it had filed a follow-up complaint with the European Union antitrust regulator since its accusations in February last year.

"With its follow-up complaint... 1plusV brings to the notice of the Commission a series of new abuses (retaliation, unfair listings) as well as additional proof of the abuses already complained of last year," the company said in a statement.

It has accused Google of forcing vertical search engines to use Google's technology to search their sites between 2006 and 2010.

Google could face a fine of up to 10 percent of its global turnover if found guilty of unfair competition in breach of EU rules.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Rex Merrifield)

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