Google must answer EU antitrust concerns over search

Posted in: Government & Policy at 22/05/2012 14:08

Google has "a matter of weeks" to allay concerns it is abusing its dominant position in the search engine market, the European Commission has said.

An investigation by Europe's antitrust head Joaquin Almunia looked at whether Google gave preferential treatment to its own services in its search results.

Mr Almunia said the company must now "offer remedies" swiftly.

A Google spokesman said the company disagreed with the conclusions, but would work to resolve the matter.

Google given last chance to outline how it will end antitrust concerns
Google has been given a last chance, and a deadline of "a matter of weeks" by Europe's antitrust chief, to explain how it will end concerns it is abusing its dominant position in search to push its other products, and effectively locking out rival advertisers.

In a significant move, Joaquín Almunia, the European Commission commissioner, has written to Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt warning there are four areas "where Google business practices may be considered as abuses of dominance".

Europe Offers to Let Google Settle Potential Antitrust Charges
The European Commission warned Google on Monday that it must move quickly to change four business practices or face formal charges for violating European antitrust law.

The ultimatum was made in a surprise news conference by Joaquín Almunia, Europe's antitrust chief.

The commission, after a two-year inquiry, found that Google might have abused its dominance in Internet search and advertising, giving its own products an advantage over those of others while maintaining that it offers a neutral, best-for-the-customer result. Mr. Almunia said Google would need to propose a plan for changing those practices within weeks.

Google Given Weeks to Submit Remedies in EU Antitrust Probe
Google Inc. was told by the European Union's antitrust chief it has a "matter of weeks" to resolve a probe and avoid possible fines over allegations that the operator of the world's largest search engine discriminates against rivals.

EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia asked Google Chairman Eric Schmidt for proposals to address concerns that it promotes its own specialist search services, copies rivals' travel and restaurant reviews, and that its agreements with websites and software developers stifle competition in the advertising industry.

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