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EC and Google will meet about antitrust in July

These are busy times for European competition commissioners
Fri Jun 08 2012, 10:14

THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION has given Google a few more weeks to come up with ideas on how to change its business to be less threatening to competition.

EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia suggested that the company should use the time wisely and save everyone from a long and drawn out investigation into its business.

"I want to give the company the opportunity to offer remedy proposals that would avoid lengthy proceedings," he said in a speech. "By early July, I expect to receive from Google concrete signs of their willingness to explore this route."

The European investigation has looked into a number of areas, but focuses on whether Google has been exploiting its dominant position in search and advertising.

Almunia might be keen to avoid getting drawn too deeply into an antitrust debate with Google, and said that his team already has a lot of cases on the table.

"The patent wars are keeping us increasingly busy. Back in January, we opened an investigation on Samsung to make sure that its standard-essential patents are made available in fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. In April we opened two more cases on similar complaints by Apple and Microsoft against Motorola," he added.

"As to the latest developments, we have received complaints by the Chinese handset manufacturer Huawei against InterDigital - a US-based company - and by Google, alleging that Nokia and Microsoft use a so-called 'patent troll company' to start legal challenges on their behalf. We are carefully looking into these allegations." µ


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