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French search engine company 1PlusV said it is suing Google for €295 million before the Paris Commercial Court, claiming that the search provider is abusing its market dominant position by demoting or blocking rival services.
The French company joins three others, eJustice.fr, Foundem.com and Microsoft's Ciao, that have filed complaints against the company's core business model, its search algorithms. eJustice.fr is owned by 1PlusV.
On the back of these complaints, the European Commission began a formal investigation into Google's search function in November last year.
Last week, the U.S. federal Trade Commission announced it was investigating the company's search-advertising business after similar complaints to the American antitrust authority.
"We have only just received the complaint so we can't comment in detail yet. We always try to do what's best for our users. It's the key principle that drives our company and we look forward to explaining this," Google said in a statement released today.
1plusV has filed the separate complaint in Paris as it cannot seek damages in front of the European Commission. The French company has accused Google of stifling rivals by tying Adsense, its advertising service to the Google search engine.
According to a statement release by the company, Google has been "pursuing a strategy of foreclosure against vertical search engines on the market for natural reference listing, on-line advertising linked to searches and in the sector for production and commercialisation of search technologies."
"Between 2007 and 2010, no less than 30 vertical search engines created by 1plusV were black-listed, some of which showed significant business potential," the statement continued.
Adsense lets customers buy certain keywords so that a search query using the purchased words will also bring up the users' advertising. The complaint goes that rivals had no choice but to buy Adsense to make money.