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Google proposes search settlement in EU antitrust probe

11 Apr 2013

Google has submitted proposals to address European Union (EU) concerns that the company is abusing its monopoly on the internet search industry.

The tech giant hopes the concessions will put an end to the EU's two-year long antitrust probe. By committing to a group of fixes, Google aims to avoid paying out a massive EU fine and greater legal actions.

EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia told Bloomberg that officials had given Google a list of concerns earlier this month. Google presented a list of concessions in a bid to address the EU's concerns the following week.

Google's concessions will now reportedly be adopted into a market test where Google competitors can offer feedback on the fixes. Commissioner Almunia did not offer a detailed account of what sort of concessions Google has agreed to.

The antitrust case goes back to late 2010. Google competitors have repeatedly accused the firm of owning a vertical monopoly on internet search. Competitors say that Google manipulates its results by heavily featuring its own products and services.

Companies known to have complained to the EU include Microsoft. The firm remains one of Google's main search competitors. Redmond has owned a small margin of the search market through its Bing Search division.

Google has been barraged with legal complaints over the years. Late last year, the firm was charged a $22.5m fine by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC concluded that Google was illegally circumventing the privacy controls of the Safari Browser by serving cookies to users against their will.

V3 contacted Google for comment on the reports, but had not responded at the time of publication.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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