Google is facing an official European Union investigation into its business practices after complaints of anti-competitive behaviour from Microsoft and others.
Google announced the news today, and said that it will co-operate fully with the investigation. The company also denied that it had behaved in an anti-competitive manner.
"As Google has grown, we have not surprisingly faced more questions about our role in the advertising ecosystem and our overall approach to competition," Julia Holtz, senior competition counsel at Google, said in a blog post.
"This kind of scrutiny goes with the territory when you are a large company. However, we've always worked hard to ensure that our success is earned the right way: through technological innovation and great products, rather than by locking in users or advertisers or creating artificial barriers to entry."
Holtz explained that three companies had lodged complaints with the EU: British price comparison site Foundem, French legal search engine eJustice and shopping site Ciao, which is owned by Microsoft.
Google has in the past complained about Microsoft's competitive practices, so there is a suspected element of payback involved. Google is certainly keen to promote the idea, anyway. Holtz noted that Foundem is a member of pressure group ICOMP, which is partly funded by Microsoft.
Holtz also said that Google had enjoyed a good relationship with Ciao until Microsoft bought the company in 2008.
No timescale for an investigation has been released, but it is thought to be in the early fact finding stages.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago