AMSTERDAM - Europe's top regulator says he has asked Google not to discriminate against companies that don't want it to use their content in Google's specialized search results, such as price comparison for plane tickets or reviews of restaurants.
Joaquin Almunia said during a speech in Paris Monday that the Internet search giant currently "creates a link" between sites that co-operate with the practice known as "scraping" and how the sites appear on Google's general search results.
"I have asked Google to sever this link" to improve competition, he said.
Almunia heads the antitrust division of the executive arm of the European Union, which is investigating Google.
Google has offered to let companies opt out of its specialized results without consequences for their general results ranking, but has not yet implemented that.