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September 5, 2014

Microsoft and publishers step up pressure on EU to block Google anti-trust deal

The publishers are pressurising the commission because Joaquin Almunia will be stepping down from his post in October.

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft along with German publishing industry is putting pressure on European Union’s antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia to make radical changes in settlement it reached with Google or leave the decision to be taken by his successor.

Previously, Google reached a preliminary agreement with European Commission and agreed to penalties by the commission.

Under the deal, Google needed to provide a system that would display the search service provided by its rivals for finding services like shopping, hotels etc, but the rival companies claimed that it was of no significant help to them.

Microsoft director of competition law Jean-Yves Art was quoted by Reuters as saying the company is concerned about Google’s contractual curbs on advertisers making it difficult for them to switch to other online platforms.

"The proposals don’t cure or eliminate all restrictions that we and rivals see. There are still restrictions preventing them from providing interoperability," Art told.

The German publishers claim: "European press publishers are greatly concerned that the Commission still appears to be moving towards a settlement in the Google anti-trust case despite all evidence and clear warnings by European consumers and businesses that the proposed deal would clearly fail to remedy the serious competition concerns identified by the Commission."

The European commission might have to review its decision or scrap the portion that does not add value to the publishers.

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