Google must do more to prevent anti-trust fines from EU

Google will have to make a better effort to convince the European Union's anti-trust commission that it isn't violating any EU laws with its Internet search service. Today, the head of the European Commission for competition, Joaquin Almunia, basically told Google to go back and try again after Google sent over some proposals to settle the matter back in April.

Reuters reports that, according to Almunia, "I concluded that the proposals that Google sent to us are not enough to overcome our concern." Google offered the EU ways to better label listings of its own services in its search results in Europe, along with links to rival search engines, including Microsoft's Bing, in its own results.

The Brussels-based industry group ICOMP, which includes Microsoft as one of its members, has already slammed Google's April proposals as a "non-starter" and now it seems the European Commission agrees. There's no word yet on if Google has a new deadline to send over updated proposals to the commission. In a statement, Google spokesman Al Verney said simply, "Our proposal to the European Commission clearly addresses the four areas of concern." Google claims that it will continue to work with the commission.

If Google cannot come up with concessions that please the European Commission, Almunia could make the decision by the end of 2013 to fine Google as much as $5 billion for violating the EU's anti-trust laws.

Source: Reuters | Image via Google

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17 Comments

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The EU is just a bunch of thugs that like to fine anyone they can to fund their failing economy. Seriously, Apple. MS and Google. They've fined them all. They aren't going to be satisfied with any solution Google comes up with other than 5 Billion Dollars.

The truth of the matter is Google are the most advertised search engine in the world. And a lot of people are not internet savvy enough to know that there are other search engines.

Star-Pirate said,
The truth of the matter is Google are the most advertised search engine in the world. And a lot of people are not internet savvy enough to know that there are other search engines.

Or.. they're savvy enough to know that the other search engines aren't worth a damn.

"The company has offered to mark out its own products in Internet search results, provide links to at least three rival sites and make it easier for advertisers to move to rival platforms."

The EU is being stupid in this case. I understand anti-trust issues when dealing with consumers buying hardware that has software tied to it. Such is the case with Windows and PCs. This can also be applied to phones that have Android on them. It also can be an issue w/ browsers that are tied to an operating system (IE w/ Windows, Chrome w/ Android, Safari w/ Mac/iOS)

But this case is just about people using a website. No one is 'forced' to use google.com to search for things. The only anti-trust issue that could be brought up, is if Google were forcing advertisers into exclusive agreements to lock out Bing, Yahoo, etc.

Just because Google gets 80% of the market because that ratio of people use their search should not be a crime.

greensabath said,
"The company has offered to mark out its own products in Internet search results, provide links to at least three rival sites and make it easier for advertisers to move to rival platforms."

The EU is being stupid in this case. I understand anti-trust issues when dealing with consumers buying hardware that has software tied to it. Such is the case with Windows and PCs. This can also be applied to phones that have Android on them. It also can be an issue w/ browsers that are tied to an operating system (IE w/ Windows, Chrome w/ Android, Safari w/ Mac/iOS)

But this case is just about people using a website. No one is 'forced' to use google.com to search for things. The only anti-trust issue that could be brought up, is if Google were forcing advertisers into exclusive agreements to lock out Bing, Yahoo, etc.

Just because Google gets 80% of the market because that ratio of people use their search should not be a crime.


You have a problem with receiving a free web browser when purchasing an operating system lol? As far as I know, "No one is forced to" use them as well.

I don't have a problem w/ a web browser being bundled w/ an OS myself....but Governments have had issues w/ this, and I can see why it would be an issue.

There is a link to it in the OP

Nothing new than what a lot of other companies have to do. lots of time the first proposal is rejected.

I must be missing it, because of the two links in the article, neither describes what Google has proposed in any detail. The closest I could see was

... via an unnamed source, Google's proposition includes offering better labeling of its own services in its search results in Europe

Doesn't really tell us much. I guess this is all being done behind closed doors?

Okay so it's just labelling of Google services in their own search results, and offering competing services as well? I guess I was expecting more technical details or something *shrug*. Thanks.