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February 25, 2013

Google may reach antitrust settlement with EU after August

Google submitted a settlement proposal to the EU Competition Commission earlier this month.

By CBR Staff Writer

European Union (EU) privacy regulators are expected to resolve the two-year long investigation into claims that Google has been misusing its dominant position in the online search market against its rivals.

EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said: "We can reach an agreement after the summer break. We can envisage this as a possible deadline."

In October last year, the EU asked Google to undo the controversial modifications that were made in March 2012 to its European privacy policy.

Google submitted a settlement proposal to the EU Competition Commission earlier this month.

The commission’s summer break runs through most of August this year and it is is planning to seek feedback from Google rivals and other third parties to reach an agreement.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Google could face a fine of up to $1bn for its data privacy policies as new EU regulations allow a single regulator to fine companies they feel are not complying with privacy laws.

Last month, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) closed the 20-month antitrust probe into Google’s web-search business that investigated whether it had manipulated its search results to favour its own services.

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