All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis

EC reveals ‘tough negotiations’ required in Google search concessions deal

07 Feb 2014
Joaquin Almunia is vice president of the EC

Google and the European Commission (EC) went through “tough negotiations” before the company finally delivered concessions that were acceptable, said its vice president of competition Joaquín Almunia.

Speaking at an event in London on Friday, the EC chief shed more light on how it decided the latest search concessions for Google, which were unveiled on Wednesday. The EC has rejected the firm’s proposals twice before.

“At the third round I told Google, ‘you have a month, this is the last opportunity'. We could not keep going around in three to five months of market tests and then another new around, so I said ‘enough is enough’,” he said.

Almunia said some of the difficulties came due to the fast-moving nature of the tech market. “The way you receive services from search engines – any search engine – can change in one month. You may receive different results depending on your IP or location,” he said.

“Remedies valid last year may not be valid today, and the remedies [offered in the past] were not enough as we wanted future-proofing, because we know how fast things evolve.”

Almunia also questioned the criticisms the commitments have raised from firms such as Microsoft, which has itself faced antitrust actions.

"Some voices involved in previous article nine decisions [the law that governs anti-trust procedures] now appear as if a commitment decision is not an antitrust decision," he said, before clarifying he was referring to Microsoft.

Almunia also cited Microsoft's failure to abide by its commitments and the subsequent £485m fine it received, as a warning to Google it takes the legal obligations placed on firms very seriously.

“If these commitments are breached we would fine them, as we did with Microsoft. We reached a commitment with them in 2009. Afterwards we found that they had not implemented some aspects properly in a breach of the commitments so we fined Microsoft,” he said.

Google is still facing another major antitrust case in Europe over its Android operating system. Rivals have accused Google of abusing its dominant position by promoting its own services on the platform at the expense of others.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

View Dan's Google+ profile

More on Law
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus

Tech gifts for Christmas 2014

Is a new tablet on your wish list this festive season, or have they become yesterday’s fad?

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
iPhone 6 is available in silver gold and space grey

iPhone 6 video review

The best iOS handset to date

Updating your subscription status Loading

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button

Getting started with virtualisation

Virtualisation can help you reduce costs, improve application availability, and simplify IT
management. However, getting started can be challenging


Converting big data and analytics insights into results

Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organisations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimise outcomes

ICT Technical Officer

Tier : 4N Your Housing Group is one of the UK's largest...

Graduate Test Engineer

Graduate Test Engineer Overview: SeeByte provides...

Senior Project Manager - Online / Digital Delivery

My client is an award winning industry leader in the...

Custom Development Program Manager - 3D Imaging

Location: based in Thame, near Oxford Combine...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.