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January 30, 2014

Google nears antitrust settlement with EU

The settlement would allow Google to get away from a probable $5bn fine or 10% of revenue generated in 2012.

By CBR Staff Writer

Google is reportedly close to resolving a three-year European antitrust investigation with ‘much better’ concessions to calm concerns over misuse of its domination in search sphere to its benefit, including blocking rivals like Microsoft in its search results.

The settlement with the European Union Competition Commission would allow Google to get away from a probable $5bn fine or 10% of revenue generated in 2012.

According to an unnamed EU official cited by Reuters, the decision on the settlement, which is expected in the following few days or in a couple of weeks, is ‘much better’ when compared to the one that was discarded earlier this month as it failed to eliminate the EU’s requirements.

Reports also revealed that the regulators would not seek comments from the 125 rival firms, including Microsoft, who have offered their views on Google’s earlier proposals.

Google’s latest proposal includes commitments on how to deal with rivals and the usage of content from other providers in future.

In mid-January, Google submitted the new offer, basically building on its second proposal with no dramatic modifications.

The European Commission is probing Google since 2010 in the wake of complaints from its rival firms, including Microsoft, Expedia and TripAdvisor, claiming it blocked rivals from its search results.

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