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The European Union's competition watchdog will investigate whether Google has abused its dominant position in the online search market -- the first major probe into the online giant's business practices.
The formal investigation announced Tuesday follows complaints from rival search engines that Google put them at a disadvantage in both its regular and sponsored search results, by listing links to their sites below references to its own services in an attempt to shut them out of the market.
The Commission will also probe whether Google prevented advertising partners from placing ads from competitors on their sites. Competitors allegedly shut out include computer and software vendors, the commission said.