* Google delivered thousands of documents, Texas wants more
* Texas AG probe just one of plethora of probes
SAN FRANCISCO, June 21 Texas' attorney general,
firing its latest salvo in a two-year investigation of Google
Inc's search rankings, demanded that the Internet
company cooperate with its probe and hand over intentionally
In a court filing, the state's attorney general said Google
was holding out despite having handed over hundreds of thousands
of documents since August 2010.
The attorney general's office "suspects that there are many
documents being improperly withheld based on assertions of
privilege," according to the filing. "Google has significantly
over-reached in its effort to prevent disclosure of documents."
The intensifying inquiries around the globe into Google's
business practices recall the fervor with which regulators went
after Microsoft earlier last decade.
The Lone Star state's probe is just one of several
spearheaded by federal regulators, foreign governments and
individual U.S. states, all seeking clarity on how the Internet
search leader ranks its search results.
In Europe, regulators are likely to release key rulings soon
in an EU investigation that began in 2010, in a case that marks
a coming-of-age for the Internet giant whose once oft-quoted
mantra was "Don't Be Evil."
Google's rivals accuse the company of favoring its own
content and properties.
Google, which accounts for an estimated two-thirds or more
of searches conducted on the Internet, said it was cooperating
with the investigation.
"We have shared hundreds of thousands of documents with the
Texas Attorney General, and we are happy to answer any questions
that regulators have about our business," Google said in a
The company has argued that, while it dominates search, it's
now fending off increasingly powerful competition from the likes
of Apple and Facebook in a range of markets.
And despite being increasingly in the crosshairs of
antitrust investigations, Google has been reluctant to share
its methodology on search rankings, arguing that the algorithms
behind its search engine is a valuable business secret.
But fighting the probes may also come at a steep cost. The
European Commission could fine Google up to 10 percent of global
revenues -- nearly $40 billion last year -- and order changes to
its operations. The alternative, a long battle in EU courts,
might harm its image, analysts say.