EU says latest Google anti-trust remedies 'not acceptable'

Dec 20, 2013
Attendees work on laptops during the Google I/O developers conference at the Moscone Center on May 15, 2013 in San Francisco, California

The latest remedies offered by US giant Google to complaints that it abuses its dominant position in the Internet search market do not go far enough, the European Commission said on Friday.

"The latest proposals are not acceptable in the sense that they are not proposals that can eliminate our concerns regarding competition," EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told Spanish national radio.

However, it was too early to talk of sanctions although that time will come soon, Almunia said.

"At this moment there is little time left but the ball is still in Google's court," he said.

"But within a short timeframe, the ball will then be there and then it will be the moment to take decisions," he added.

Google, under anti-trust investigation since 2010, submitted revised remedies in September which Almunia at the time said showed "significant improvements."

The Commission has four main grievances against Google.

These are that it gives unfair preference in to its own services, copies content without permission, ties up publishers with exclusivity deals, and discourages clients from using other advertising platforms.

Joachim Almunia gives a press conference on December 4, 2013 at EU Headquarters in Brussels

Almunia, said on Friday that the company's offer did not meet the Commission's concerns, "in particular, regarding the way Google's rivals in vertical – search for products and price comparison, restaurants, etc. – are being treated."

Google reiterated on Friday that it had made significant changes to meet such concerns.

"We have made significant changes to address the (EU's) concerns, greatly increasing the visibility of rival services and addressing other specific issues."

Earlier this month, a group of major Google competitors said they were unhappy because its proposed remedies meant the company could still "present its search results in a way that distorts user choice".

"The proposal does not fix the problem the (European) Commission identified back in 2012. It hurts consumers," said Thomas Vinje, spokesman for industry group FairSearch Europe.

Google rejected those charges.

If found at fault in an EU anti-trust probe, a company risks a fine equal to up to 10 percent of annual sales.

Google holds about 70 percent of the search engine traffic in the United States and 90 percent in Europe.

In January, US authorities absolved Google of anti-competition practices in a similar case.

Explore further: Google competitors unhappy at its EU anti-trust remedies

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

EU to ask Google to boost anti-trust offer

May 28, 2013

The European Commission said on Tuesday that it will probably ask US Internet giant Google to improve the way it intends to satisfy EU concerns over its dominant position in the online search and advertising ...

EU: Google shouldn't discriminate against opt-outs

Dec 09, 2013

Europe's top regulator says he has asked Google not to discriminate against companies that don't want it to use their content in Google's specialized search results, such as price comparison for plane tickets or reviews of ...

EU says Google not doing enough in antitrust case

Jul 17, 2013

(AP)—The European Union's competition chief says Google isn't doing enough to overcome concerns that it's stifling competition, and ordered the Internet giant to come up with new ideas.

Recommended for you

WEF unveils 'crowdsourcing' push on how to run the Web

9 hours ago

The World Economic Forum unveiled a project on Thursday aimed at connecting governments, businesses, academia, technicians and civil society worldwide to brainstorm the best ways to govern the Internet.

Study: Social media users shy away from opinions

Aug 26, 2014

People on Facebook and Twitter say they are less likely to share their opinions on hot-button issues, even when they are offline, according to a surprising new survey by the Pew Research Center.

US warns shops to watch for customer data hacking

Aug 23, 2014

The US Department of Homeland Security on Friday warned businesses to watch for hackers targeting customer data with malicious computer code like that used against retail giant Target.

Fitbit to Schumer: We don't sell personal data

Aug 22, 2014

The maker of a popular line of wearable fitness-tracking devices says it has never sold personal data to advertisers, contrary to concerns raised by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer.

Should you be worried about paid editors on Wikipedia?

Aug 22, 2014

Whether you trust it or ignore it, Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world and accessed by millions of people every day. So would you trust it any more (or even less) if you knew people ...

How much do we really know about privacy on Facebook?

Aug 22, 2014

The recent furore about the Facebook Messenger app has unearthed an interesting question: how far are we willing to allow our privacy to be pushed for our social connections? In the case of the Facebook ...

User comments : 0