EU to Google: Antitrust proposals are 'not enough'; demands more

Summary:The Brussels-based bureaucrats are hinting at the possibility of massive fines on deck if Google can't move quickly on alleviating concerns by the European officials.

almunia
EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia Image: <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/photo/photoDetails.cfm?sitelang=en&amp;ref=023778#0">European Union</a>

Google's relationship with Apple may have improved over the past year or so, despite rivalries over their respective platforms and partnerships.

But the arms-length affair with Brussels is far from where it should be . And Google should be prioritizing the latter over the former, considering what the European officials could hand down in its final antitrust verdict.

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Google faces partial ban in Europe if antitrust talks crash

The search giant may face difficult times ahead if it doesn't solve its European antitrust matters now, such as having parts of its business blocked in the 28 member state bloc.

At a news conference with journalists, EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia confirmed that he has asked Google once again to allay concerns that its dominant position in the search market isn't harming its competitors and rivals, Reuters reports.

The proposals the search giant submitted in April in a bid to end a three-year investigation are "not enough" to overcome the EU's concerns, Almunia said.

"I wrote a letter to Google, to [Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt], asking Google to present better proposals, to improve its proposal," he confirmed.

A few weeks earlier , Google's general counsel said the search giant had done a "pretty good job" in addressing the European Commission's concerns over anticompetitive practices in the region.

Following Google's submission of settlement proposals in a bid to avoid massive fines in the region, the Commission sent out the proposals to rivals affected by Google's alleged behavior. Those rivals reportedly were not pleased with Google's settlement conditions, leading to the EU's concerns today.

Google faces a fine of up to 10 percent of its global annual turnover for infringing years. In total, that could amount to €2.9 billion ($3.8bn) based on the company's 2011 global revenue.

Topics: Google

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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