Menu
EU tells Google, make antitrust concessions within weeks, or face a fine

EU tells Google, make antitrust concessions within weeks, or face a fine

The three-year case could end soon

Europe's competition chief is running out of patience with Google's attempts to avoid an antitrust fine.

Speaking in Brussels on Wednesday, E.U. Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said that the search giant has one more chance to make an offer and that he wanted more concessions from Google within weeks.

"I am waiting for the reaction from Google. Unfortunately after the second round of proposals, I am not satisfied -- we need more. And we need more, not in the next year, but in the next few weeks," he said.

Google has been under investigation by the European Commission since November 2010, after rivals accused the search giant of setting its algorithm to direct users to its own services by reducing the visibility of competing websites and services. It was also accused of content-scraping and imposing contractual restrictions that prevent advertisers from moving their online campaigns to rival search engines.

Rather than proceed directly to punitive action -- which could be up to 10 percent of Google's annual global revenue --  Almunia chose to try to work out a set of remedies under a so-called Article 9 procedure. This allows the company under investigation to present proposals to rectify possible violations. If these proposals are accepted by the Commission, they become legally binding.

Google's first set of proposals were rejected last July and in October the Internet giant submitted revised proposals. Rivals and other interested parties were once again asked to review the proposals, and found them severely lacking.

Almunia said that he has taken criticism of Google's proposals very seriously and said that the negative feedback on the proposals was not just from complainants in the case. In his clearest signal yet that a fine may be in the offing, Almunia said on Wednesday, that if he doesn't get a satisfactory response from Google within weeks, then he would approach the case in a more "traditional" way.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags advertisingInternet-based applications and servicesantitrustJoaquin AlmuniaGooglelegalinternetsearch enginesanalytics

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP honoured leading partners across the channel at the Partner Awards 2017 in New Zealand, recognising excellence across the entire print and personal systems portfolio.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30

Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30

Leading figures within the technology industry across New Zealand came together to celebrate 30 years of success for Lexel Systems, at a milestone birthday occasion at St Matthews in the City.​

Tech industry comes together as Lexel celebrates turning 30
HP re-imagines education through Auckland event launch

HP re-imagines education through Auckland event launch

HP New Zealand held an inaugural Evolve Education event at Aotea Centre in Auckland, welcoming over 70 principals, teachers and education experts to explore ways of shaping and enhancing learning using technology.

HP re-imagines education through Auckland event launch
Show Comments