EU to investigate Google Book deal

Google Books continues to be controversial and garner government scrutiny

Google is getting more government scrutiny over its controversial Google Books deal. Government ministers from the European Union's member countries are meeting Thursday. They are expected to call for an investigation into the way Google Books handles copyright. Google Books allows users to search through books protected by copyright, and offers the complete works of books whose copyright has expired. Authors and publishers have to opt out of the service to get their titles removed.

The U.S. DOJ is already investigating Google for the deal.

The EU is known for its tough guy approach to Microsoft. While the U.S. endlessly monitored Microsoft over its antitrust violations, it wasn't until the EU's European Commission began slapping Microsoft with hefty fines that the company complied with the EU's directives and opened the communication protocols that allowed third party software developers to more easily write wares for Windows. The EU has since gone on and pushed Microsoft into making changes in how Windows 7 will bundle browsers with the new OS.

So with this move, it is turning its attention on the Microsoft wannabe, Google.

Google is characterizing this as a fact-finding mission, not an investigation, reports CNet. In the meantime, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the DOJ is also considering adding a copyright investigation to the antitrust investigation of the deal.

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