08 Jun 2012, Gareth Morgan , V3
Europe's competition chief has set Google a deadline of early July to come up with proposals on acceptable practices to defuse the threat of investigations into potential monopoly abuses.
Commissioner Joaquín Almunia will tell an International Competition Law forum in Switzerland on Friday that he wants Google to formulate proposals which could settle the anti-trust investigation in to the firm's search practices.
“I want to give the company the opportunity to offer remedy proposals that would avoid lengthy proceedings. By early July, I expect to receive from Google concrete signs of their willingness to explore this route,” Almunia will say.
Almunia wrote to Google in May, warning the search giant that its initial investigations suggested that Google may have been breaking competition laws.
The EC had received a number of complaints about Google, from rivals such as TripAdvisor, who accused the firm of giving undue weight in search results to its own brands and to the detriment of smaller competitors.
These so-called vertical search companies provide information of specialised services, such as travel arrangements or shopping. Google also offers services in these areas.
Almunia will reaffirm his previous stance that consumers would be best served by reaching a speedy resolution with Google. But he warned that if Google's proposals were not satisfactory, he would launch formal proceedings.
Google told V3:"We're engaging constructively with the Commission."