Google submits EU antitrust remedy proposals just before deadline

Google submits EU antitrust remedy proposals just before deadline

Summary: The search giant has submitted proposals that, if agreed upon by European antitrust regulators, change how it conducts business while avoiding hefty fines.

TOPICS: Google, EU

Google has submitted new proposals to how it will conduct its search business amid an ongoing, and seemingly never-ending European antitrust probe.

In the proposals--not yet available to the public--Google will have set out under which terms it is willing to settle with the European Commission, which is investigating the company for allegedly anti-competitive behavior in the region.

The deadline for submitting the proposals was 12 midnight today (Brussels time), which Google reportedly sent in with moments to spare.

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Google must change search business practices after FTC decision

Google must change search business practices after FTC decision

The FTC has issued a number of decisions in its complex investigation of Google, ranging from changes to search business practices to licensing Motorola-owned patents.

Google, which has around 90 percent of the search market share in Europe, is accused of flouting a number of strict competition laws on the continent, not limited to scraping information from other firms' services to shutting out competing advertising networks.

In order to evade massive fines, Google is attempting to settle. In doing so, the company will not have to admit wrongdoing.

The proposals are likely on the most part similar to the terms in which the search giant settled with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), with a few differences.

One likely difference is how Google labels its own branded advertisements--something European antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia hinted at earlier this month. The search giant could also be barred from giving preferential treatment to its own services over rival products and services.

But if Google manages to settle under the newer Article 9 of the European antitrust rules, Google could be forced to change how it acts without imposing fines or finding that the company fell afoul of or actively broke competition laws. That said, if Google breaks any commitments it agrees upon with the commission, there will there be fines--and they will be substantial.

Comparatively, the US FTC gave Google a slap on the wrist without a financial penalty. Granted, the decision to affect Google's search business may ultimately--albeit for the sake of fair competition-- harm Google's revenues in the long term.

Topics: Google, EU

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  • Hurt future revenues? Don't make me Laffer

    Suppose the government 'owned the internet' or thought Google was acting like it owned the internet.

    Well, it could use its data to derive what it thought was a Laffer curve for Google. Zero margin (tax) nets Google nothing, as does 100% margin since no one would waste time giving that much to Google. Amazon, Google's only big data and commerce rival seems to believe the optimum margin is nearer 1% than 30%. Google has also done its homework. What if Google will sign up for less than 3% margin I'd its competitors will do the same? What is the ad-market/search algorithm was chosen precisely because the difference between buyer bids and sellers asks are the solution of an Auction algorithm that has verifiable margins for both sides of the exchange and any regulators watching.

    If Google's Auction is verifiable and fair, where does that put closed garden monopolies seeking 30% return because they can...
    • I don't think you understand how an auction

      Works or Amazon's business. A fair auction is where you sell to the highest bidder ie. a fair auction gives you the highest margins. So I have no clue how you tying high margins to an unfair auction ie. an auction where you don't sell to the highest bidder.

      And Amazon sells product which they buy from others not ads on their own website for the most part. So obviously the margins aren't going to be the same if you understand anything at all about the business.
      • Kudos to you for even attempting to decipher that post.

        I read half and thought it was spun off by some SEO engine so I quit.
  • Google(tm) rescues the Euro

    I can see it now (imagining):


    "...announced that since Google(tm) have refused to reply in a timely manner, a substantial penalty must be imposed."

    "Regrettably, Google(tm) have failed to deliver the information required before the deadline established. The Commission offices close at 16 Hours daily, and open at 9 Hours of the next day; filings submitted during closed hours are received on the next day. The fine is €[redacted] thousand millions, payable within five business days."

    "Should Google(tm) demur, interest from the date of demurral will be added to the total of the late filing penalty and the Anti-Competitiveness penalty to be decreed shortly by the High Court ..."


    Currency Crisis Solved!
    Google(tm) to the Rescue!