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THE EUROPEAN UNION (EU) has extended its probe into Google, incorporating complaints from German firms.Google was being investigated for its search practices, with allegations of unfair treatment of other search providers. Now the EU has widened its investigation to include complaints from the magazine and newspaper publishing groups, B.D.Z.V. and V.D.Z, and mapping outfit Euro-Cities.Previously the EU's investigation of Google originated from competitors' complaints, the majority of which originated from Microsoft backed companies. By incorporating the new complaints, the investigation not only has more of a pan-European feel to it, but it gives Joaquin Almunia, the EU competition commissioner, access to more evidence.Google is accused of not paying newspapers owned by B.D.Z.V. and V.D.Z., despite making money by placing advertising beside links to their articles. The groups issued a joint statement saying that they welcomed the EU's decision to include their complaints in the investigation. They claimed that Google's size had resulted in the outfit becoming a direct competitor.Euro-Cities complained that Google's decision to integrate Google Maps into its websites was hurting its business, presumably just like every other mapping company.The EU investigation now has complaints from price comparison websites Foundem and Ciao, both of which have strong links to Microsoft, and French legal search engine Ejustice, as well as the two German outfits to consider.Microsoft will surely be rubbing its Volish paws with glee as the EU includes more complaints into its investigation of Google. After all, how else can Microsoft beat Google in web search, if not through the courts?