EU questioning companies about Google's search practices: report

The European Union may be pursuing another antitrust investigation into Google, this time over its search practices.

Reuters on Friday reported that the EU has been asking the internet giant’s rivals if its search engine suppresses competition in local searches. The outlet viewed one of the questionnaires sent to Google’s competitors.

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Reuters reports that regulators asked in the questionnaire if rivals had felt any impact following major search algorithm changes by Google, including the 2014 introduction of its Panda 4.0 algorithm that determines what appears in search results.

In the past two years, the EU has hit Google with back-to-back record-breaking antitrust fines totaling nearly $8 billion.

The first, in 2017, was in response to Google’s practice of elevating its own comparison shopping service over those of rivals. A subsequent $5 billion fine issued this past summer penalized Google for the way it bundled its mobile services.

EU antitrust officials are also investigating Google’s advertising units.

The questions over Google’s search practices could be the start of a fourth probe into the U.S. company.

Yelp, which has been waging a public campaign to get regulators to crack down on Google, revived an antitrust complaint against their rival in the EU earlier this year.

A spokeswoman for Google did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment.