Texas Attorney General is gunning for GoogleFebruary 15, 2011: 6:13 PM ET
Gregg Abbott's office seeks special AdWords source as well as other documents and executive interviews.
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The request was originally made last July from assistant attorney general Kim Van Winkle to Matthew Bye, a lawyer for Google and reported in September.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."
More on Fortune.com:
- Schmidt's new role: Google defender/evangelist?
- Google's Schmidt tries to avoid clashes with EU regulators
- Google's ITA acquisition compares to Microsoft-Intuit '95?
- Google's ITA acquisition will trigger regulators, analysts say
- Google-AdMob decision due next week
- Watchdog calls for federal inquiry into Google