Google is in hot water again -

Search engine monster Google is in trouble deep in the heart of Texas over an allegation that it fiddled search results.

According to AP, the  US state of Texas has sent forth the Lone Internet Ranger (LIR) to investigate whether internet giant Google manipulates search results in a bid to boost their bottom line.

Google's deputy general counsel Don Harrison has admitted that as the search engine gets bigger we're going to face more questions about how our business works.

He said that Google was looking forward to the Texas questions because it was "confident that Google operates in the best interests of our users," he said.

Texas is investigating whether Google is "manipulating its paid and editorial results in a way that violates antitrust laws".

The probe follows three complaints by rival search outfits including the Blighty based Foundem, the New York-based SourceTool and Ohio-based myTriggers.

The claim is that Google's algorithms demote their site because they are a direct competitor to its search engine.

Harrison insists that Google doesn't discriminate against competitors.

European regulators opened an informal investigation in February into similar allegations from three web companies.

However Harrison thinks that the evil plotting Microsoft was behind the various complaints.

Foundem was backed by an organisation funded largely by Microsoft and both TradeComet and myTriggers have the same antitrust attorneys as Redmond.  Obviously that is no coincidence.