Google given 'weeks' to satisfy EU on competition
A European Union probe has identified antitrust problems for Google, including the ranking of its search results and respect of copyrights.
Mon, May 21, 2012 at 08:00 AM
Photo: Kimihiro Hoshino/AFP
BRUSSELS — European Union anti-trust chiefs said on May 21 they had asked Google to come up with "remedies" to satisfy Brussels concerns the Internet search king has abused its dominant market position.
"If Google comes up with remedies" within "a matter of weeks," Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told a news conference, the EU will negotiate "instead of having to pursue proceedings and fines."
In November 2010, the European Commission launched an antitrust investigation into allegations that Google had abused a dominant market position, following complaints from rivals.
Almunia said the probe had identified areas of significant concern in Brussels, notably: "preferential treatment" in the hierarchical presentation of search results; doubts over Google's full respect of copyrights; and "restrictions" written into advertising contracts and the "portability" of advertising across different Internet platforms.
"Should this process fail to deliver a satisfactory set of remedies, the on-going formal proceedings will of course continue," Almunia said, with a possible next legal step being a formal statement of objections.
Copyright 2012 AFP Global Edition