Texas Attorney General is gunning for Google

February 15, 2011: 6:13 PM ET

Gregg Abbott's office seeks special AdWords source as well as other documents and executive interviews.

Google's (GOOG) government woes continue as Texas's Antitrust Investigators are seeking information on the "manual overriding or altering of" search result rankings.

The order is similar to a subpoena, compelling a company to turn over documents and make executives available for interviews.

State investigators also want Google documents on rivals Microsoft (MSFT) Corp.'s Bing and Yahoo! (YHOO) Inc. and complaints about purchasing and placing an ad on Google, the world's most popular Internet search engine.

Google has traditionally been super secret about its algorithms citing trade secrets as a reason from publicly disclosing any information about them.  Google's hand may be forced here however.

The request was originally made last July from assistant attorney general Kim Van Winkle to Matthew Bye, a lawyer for Google and reported in September.

Something for the conspiracy theorists to consider:  Google's algorithms change frequently so the one that they choose to provide the Texas Attorney General may not be the ones which are causing the complaints from his constituents.

A Google spokesperson told Bloomberg:

"While there's always going to be room for improvement, we're committed to competing fair and square, we're continuing to work with the Texas attorney general's office to answer their questions and understand any concerns."

Texas is just one of Google's government regulation concerns.  The U.S. DOJ is thoroughly looking through its planned acquisition of ITA and EU regulators are investigating privacy concerns.

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About This Author
Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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