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Google offers to advertise rival services to end EC antitrust probe

Three year investigation could be coming to an end
Thu Apr 25 2013, 12:40
Google logo (Robert Scoble Flickr)

INTERNET SEARCH GIANT Google has made an offer to the European Commission (EC) that could end its probe of the firm's alleged anticompetitive search practices.

Earlier this month we reported that Google reportedly had reached a deal with the EC over its alleged anticompetitive search pracitices that could finally put an end to the three-year probe.

The EC seems to have confirmed this, reporting news of Google's proposals on Thursday.

Clearly fed up with the ongoing investigation, Google has offered to separate promoted links from actual search results by using frames or other "clear graphical features," and has, most interestingly, offered to "display links to three rival specialised search services close to its own services, in a place that is clearly visible to users".

Google has told the commission that it will also "offer all websites the option to opt-out from the use of all their content in Google's specialised search services, offer publishers tools to control the content displayed on Google News and will no longer force publishers to take advertisements exclusively from Google". The full breakdown of Google's proposal can be found here.

This doesn't mean that the EC's probe of Google's search practices is over yet, though. It is instead calling for Google's search rivals to share their thoughts on Google's offer.

"The European Commission invites comments from interested parties on commitments offered by Google in relation to online search and search advertising," the commission said.

If the changes are accepted by Microsoft and its allies, they become legally binding on Google for the next five years. µ


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