July 26, 2012
Google Moves Toward Settlement Of European Antitrust Investigation
Derek Walter for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Google and the European Union may be closer to an agreement that would avoid a long and costly litigation fight over antitrust allegations. At issue is whether or not Google used its search dominance to give its own products an unfair advantage over competitors, according to the New York Times.The European competition commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, had asked Google in May to make concessions within its products or face official antitrust charges, reports Zack Whittaker for London Calling. There were some specific practices singled out during Almunia´s original complaint in May: the way Google displayed links to its services differently from competitors and its use of travel and restaurant reviews from competing sites.
No specific details have been released from either Google or the European Union. However, several online reports indicate that Google is now willing to include its growing suite of mobile and other non-search services, something it was originally unwilling to do.
Google´s search engine has an even more dominant position in the European search market than it does in the United States. It has 90 percent market share in Europe compared to 70 percent in the U.S.
An agreement between Google and the EU would avoid the multi-billion dollar fines and protracted legal battle that Microsoft experienced in the 1990s. Microsoft was part of a group of companies that filed a complaint with the European Union about Google´s alleged anti-competitive business practices.