Google Concession Proposals to Resolve Antitrust Case Labelled Inadequate

Speaking yesterday at the European Parliament, EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia issued Google with the warning that as part of the on-going antitrust investigation into its dominance of the EU search market, it may be required to make additional concessions to those it has thus far proposed.

The Commission is continuing to review feedback on the proposed concessions made by Google with a view to avoiding charges that could be levied due to having unfairly favoured its own services in its search results.

Commenting on the review, Mr Almunia commented: "We will ask Google, probably, I cannot anticipate this formally, but almost 100% - you should improve your proposals."

Should Google's concessions be accepted by the Commission, it will avoid a fine of up to $5bn (£3.2bn) and escape the scrutiny of a mandatory third party to ensure it complies with EU Competition authorities.

Proposals made by Google to rectify the situation include labelling its own products in its search results more clearly and imposing fewer restrictions on advertisers that choose to do businesses with competing service providers.

In addition, the European Competition Commission has given concerned parties until the end of June to formally respond to the proposed antitrust concessions offered by Google.

The main detractors, Microsoft and Nokia, have however slammed Google's concession proposals as inadequate and harmful to competition, claiming they fall short of the Commission's requirements.

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