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EU is keen to settle Google antitrust probe

After Google made an offer to end the EU antitrust investigation earlier this month
Tue Jul 17 2012, 11:37
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INTERNET SERVICES GIANT Google is awaiting word from the EU Competition Commissioner, who has said he wants to resolve an antitrust probe over claims that it discriminates against rival businesses, rather than pursue an enforcement action against it.

"In these fast-moving markets with new activities, new products and new services, I prefer to find remedies as soon as possible and this is easier," EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said today in an interview with Bloomberg.

The statement comes after Google outlined a proposal to end the EU antitrust investigation earlier this month. The European investigation has looked into a number of areas but focused on whether Google has been exploiting its dominant position in search and advertising.

A Google spokesman told The INQUIRER, "We continue to work cooperatively with the European Commission."

Earlier last month, Almunia suggested that the company should use the time wisely and save everyone from a long and drawn out investigation into its business practices, because his team already has a lot of cases, such as patent wars, already on the table.

"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."

Google has been under scrutiny from regulators pressured by competitors to probe whether it is using techniques to push out competing web search firms. Microsoft and its partner Yahoo both have about a quarter of the web search market in the US, while Google has around 95 per cent of internet search traffic in Europe. µ


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