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February 1, 2013

Google submits settlement proposals to EU antitrust regulator

Google's move meets the deadline given by the EU antitrust chief Joaquín Almunia to send a final proposal by the end of January 2013

By CBR Staff Writer

Google has submitted a settlement proposal to the EU Competition Commission (CC) in a bid to end the two-year long investigation into claims that Google has been misusing its dominant position in online search market against its rivals.

Google has submitted the proposal by the deadline given by the EU antitrust chief Joaquín Almunia to send a final proposal by the end of January 2013 to resolve concerns.

Almunia had demanded Google to hand over concessions proposal by the end of January in a bid to deal with allegations that the firm promotes its own search-services, infringes rivals’ travel and restaurant reviews, as well as has agreements with websites and software developers that choke competition in the ad industry.

According to CC, if Google fails to satisfy the agency, it would face legal action and may also be fined, which could be about 10% of its global turnover.

Several firms including Microsoft and other smaller rivals in Britain, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the US have complained about Google.

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

Further, the EU believes that Google has been diverting traffic and could be forced to change its search results.

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Since 2010, the CC has been monitoring whether Google’s search engine supports its own assets, including YouTube, by providing higher priority on search results pages, while demoting assets of rivals.

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