Europe is said to launch antitrust probe of Google

The company's rivals in Europe asked for the investigation

Google has become the subject of a preliminary investigation by antitrust regulators in Europe following complaints by three of its rivals there, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday evening.

Citing unnamed sources, the paper said the inquiry is at an "early, fact-finding stage" and may not result in any action. It follows a complaint lodged in Germany by a subsidiary of Microsoft, Ciao.de, and will also look at complaints from Foundem.co.uk, a price comparison site in the U.K, and Ejustice.fr, a search engine for legal matters in France, the Journal said.

The paper said Google was about to disclose the investigation Tuesday. The search giant did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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