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Google must improve 'insufficient' concession offer to end EC antitrust probe

The European Union isn't impressed
Wed Jul 17 2013, 12:55
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EUROPEAN UNION REGULATORS are demanding that Google improve its antitrust concession offer, calling the firm's recent proposal "insufficient".

Although it was widely thought that Google's three-year long antitrust review in relation to the firm blocking its rivals in search results was coming to an end, it seems not.

European Union chief antitrust regulator Joaquín Almunia said on Wednesday that Google must offer more and improved concessions, seemingly not happy with the firm's original offer that it proposed back in April. This seems to suggest that Google's rivals weren't happy with the offer either, as they were asked to offer feedback on Google's proposal.

Google had proposed to display links to three rival services, clearly separate promoted links from search results and allow websites to opt-out from the use of their content on its search services.

Almunia said, "After an analysis of the market test that was concluded on June 27, I concluded that the proposals that Google sent to us are not enough to overcome our concerns."

"In this sense, I wrote a letter to Google, to Mr Schmidt (Google's executive chairman), asking Google to present better proposals, to improve its proposal," he said.

If Google decides to put forward an improved offer and this doesn't impress either, it's likely that the firm would face a fine, which could be up to 10 percent of the firm's global turnover.

If Google's statement is anything to go by, it sounds like the firm isn't too keen on putting forward a new offer.

A Google spokesperson told The INQUIRER, "Our proposal to the European Commission clearly addresses their four areas of concern. We continue to work with the Commission to settle this case." µ


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