The EC will launch an investigation into Google's dominance of internet search following complaints by its competitors.

Google is the hugely dominant search engine in Europe, but allegations have been made that it has used this dominance to push other search engines down in its rankings.

The complaints have not been made by competitors like Microsoft or Yahoo, but by French legal search engine ejustice.fr and British site Foundem.

"The European Commission has decided to open an antitrust investigation into allegations that Google has abused a dominant position in online search," the Commission said.

Small fish?

Although the nature of the complainants may lead to some suggestions that the complaints are unlikely to be upheld, it should be remembered that both Intel and Microsoft have picked up huge fines following allegations of abuse of market dominance.

Google has said that it will work with the European Commission to "address any concerns", adding that there was always room for improvement in its search algorithms.

Google has had a tough time in Europe recently, with the StreetView row – in which the search giant was found to have been collecting unsecured Wi-Fi data – coming to a head in many major countries in the region.