Google dominates Internet search with 66.6% of the search market as of January 2011, and that number is projected to grow as more and more people purchase Android phones (300,000 new Android phones are activated every day). By contrast, Yahoo owns 16% of the search market while Bing owns only about 10%. Google’s growing market dominance has prompted the EU to launch a preliminary Antitrust investigation. The EU states the investigation was opened at the request of Google’s competitors and is in the initial stages only. “This initiation of proceedings does not imply that the commission has proof of any infringements,” the European Commission says.

Google’s search competitors allege that the internet search giant has been artificially lowering the page rank of competing search engines and giving preference to its own. Additionally, competitors of Google’s Adwords advertising service allege that Google has been purposefully lowering their quality score, artificially driving up their costs and making it impossible to compete effectively.

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Susan Wojcicki, Senior Vice President of Product Management and Vice President of Engineering at Google, wrote on the company blog:

“Given our success and the disruptive nature of our business, it’s entirely understandable that we’ve caused unease among other companies and caught the attention of regulators.”

She goes on to say that Google aims to be as transparent as possible, which is why they provide tools such as Webmaster Central, their support forum, their blog, and various other diagnostic tools. “We’re committed to increasing that transparency going forward,” she says. “At the same time, we don’t want to help people game our system. We do everything we can to ensure that the integrity of our results isn’t compromised.”

ITmanagement.com reports that the antitrust investigation comes while Google is trying to secure U.S. Justice Department approval of its aqcuisition of ITA Software, which provides flight data. Various internet travel companies have formed fairsearch.org in opposition of the acquisition, claiming that the transaction would allow Google to manipulate the results for travel searches.

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What do you think? Is Google too big for its britches?