EU says Google antitrust decision close

EU says Google antitrust decision close

Summary: The European Commission's antitrust chief says a decision on Google's antitrust case is near — and warned that because the search giant's share is larger in the EU, it will not follow its American counterpart's earlier decision.

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TOPICS: Google
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(Image: Google via CNET)

Europe's antitrust chief said on Wednesday, less than a month after Google submitted a new round of concessions to address anticompetitive concerns, that his agency is nearing the conclusion of its three-year investigation.

In a speech given in Washington D.C., EU Competition Commission Joaquin Almunia said he asked Google to "improve its [concessions] offer," and noted discussions into a final decision are "ongoing."

Almunia said despite a similar ruling by its American counterparts, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) earlier this year, the EU authorities will not reach identical conclusions because Google's market share in the 28 member state bloc is far larger, reports the Associated Press.

Google has a market share of more than 90 percent in online search, according to Almunia.

The FTC settled its case into Google's anticompetitive practices in the U.S. in early January. Google avoided a fine, but was told to alter its business practices as a result of the settlement.

Google resubmitted its concessions package earlier this month as part of efforts to avoid a fine of up to $5 billion. 

The new proposals, which were later confirmed by the Commission, will aim to resolve differences between the company and the 28 member state bloc, amid calls that Google is stifling competition in the region.

"We will not have to wait a long time to see which of the routes will be chosen," Almunia said. "But this is only one case among many others, albeit a very visible one."

Topic: Google

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  • Search engine choice screen?

    Maybe it will be like the web-browser choice screen we have here in the EU. Start up Internet Explorer and it prompts you to download another browser with advertising and direct download links for Chrome and Firefox.

    I can imagine a future where you type in "google.com" in your favorite browser and it searches with Bing, much like Yahoo search work today. Maybe that will be the outcome of these antitrust investigations? A search engine choice screen?
    reidar76
  • Big Bad Google

    "Don't be evil." What a joke! Eventually the entire internet will just be advertisements, all served by google. In an attempt to prevent this I use sites like Ravetree, DuckDuckGo, and HushMail. They are offer great services, and they respect my privacy. Sometimes when a company gets too big it starts to get kind of scary.
    chrisp114