Google revises proposals to EC competition authorities

Google has submitted a revised set of proposals to address the concerns of European Commission (EC) competition authorities

Google has submitted a revised set of proposals to address the concerns of Europe’s competition authorities.

The move comes after competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia asked Google to clarify some elements of the proposals submitted at the beginning of July.

In May, Almunia set a July deadline for Google to respond to four areas of concern about the company abusing its dominant position in its online search rankings.

The call for clarification suggests that Google's first set of proposals did not go far enough to address those concerns.

The European Commission will now review Google’s revised offer, and is expected to decide by the end of the month whether to settle the case or send formal charges.

Both parties are keen to reach a speedy deal and avoid a court battle, but Almunia has said Google’s offer must address all his concerns, according to the Financial Times.

Last month, the firm's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, said Google disagreed that the firm had done anything to breach EU antitrust law, but failure to satisfy the EU competition authorities could have severe consequences.

Almunia has warned that if proposals to address the EC's concerns are unsatisfactory, formal proceedings will continue through the adoption of a statement of objections.

Once adopted, the EC could impose fines of up to 10% of Google global revenues, reported at $37.9bn in 2011.

However, if the revised proposals are accepted, the EC will begin settlement talks. Under commission guidelines, Google will be given around a month to finalise its offer, which would then be tested with the companies that have complained about its behaviour.

 

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