EU to Google: Clock is ticking on antitrust talks

The European antitrust authority gives the search giant just "weeks" to deliver further concessions — yet again — or face massive fines.

A Google datacenter Image: Google

Google has a matter of "weeks" to deliver a new round of concessions to avoid formal charges in a European antitrust investigation for alleged anticompetitive behavior.

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Speaking in Brussels, EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said he was still waiting for a response from Google, after the latest concessions were struck down once again as he was "not satisfied," according to the Reuters news agency.

The stress of the case, which has been ongoing for more than three years, was beginning to show in Almunia's words, when he said: "We need more and we need more not during the next year, we need more during the next weeks."

In efforts to avoid a massive fine of up to 10 percent of its global annual turnover for infringing years — about $5 billion — Almunia attempted to settle under an Article 9 procedure, which allows a company to remedy problems flagged by the competition watchdog.

But after more than a year of to-ing and fro-ing between the search giant and the executive body, little actionable outcome has come to fruition.