Google tries to offer deal to end Brussels anti-trust probe

By Dyenamic Solitions - Last updated: Friday, April 19, 2013 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

Google has proposed a package of concessions as it seeks to end a long running investigation into its European search business.Google tries to offer deal to end Brussels anti-trust probeThe suggested changes to its business were made following talks with European Commission competition regulators.

Since November 2010, Brussels has been looking into Google’s search business following complaints from rivals about

The anti-trust investigation was kicked off by rivals such as Microsoft, as well as mapping firms and web retailers Trip Advisor which said the way Google ran its search business made it hard for them to compete fairly.

In a statement, Antoine Colombani, the Commission spokesman on competition policy, said it had completed its preliminary assessment a few weeks ago and had told Google of its concerns.

This, he said, had prompted Google to submit a formal proposal to the Commission about what it would do to change the way it operated.

By making formal proposals, Google hopes to head off potentially huge fines.

Among the measures, Google is believed to have offered to label its services to make it more obvious to people what they are using and to make it easier for people to use rival advertising services, the Reuters news agency reports.

The proposals will now be subjected to a “market test” to gauge the response of rivals and to see if the suggested remedies meet the Commission’s requirements.

Speaking in Washington, Joaquin Almunia, the EU competition commissioner, said any agreement reached with Google would be legally binding.

In January, the US Federal Trade Commission caved in and ended its anti-trust investigation after it won a pledge from Google to end some practices, such as scraping data from websites to help target adverts, that had triggered the competition probe.

However this proposed agreement will be contested by concerned websites- who can be expected to kick up a fuss. As such this is not the end of the process at all.

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