EU gives Google one month in antitrust case

08.06.2012 - 11:04

EU Competition Commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, said he gives Google until early July to propose measures to change its business practices and finally solve the investigation into possible abuse of a dominant position.

“I want to give the company the opportunity to offer remedy proposals that would avoid lengthy proceedings,” Joaquin Almunia explained, “by early July, I expect to receive from Google concrete signs of their willingness to explore this route.”

On 21 May, Almunia sent a letter to Google describing his concerns over Google's practices The letter said that he would give the company few weeks to come up with remedies and if the Commission finds the proposals acceptable, it could then drop the 18-month-long investigation.

However, if the European institution consider Google's proposals unsatisfactory, it would take formal proceedings through a "statement of objections", or charge sheet. The company disagreed with the EU antitrust regulators' opinion but, according with its spokesman Al Verny, “we're happy to discuss any concerns they might have.”

Besides, the commissioner added that users and competitors would benefit from a quick resolution of the case and that “it is always better to restore competition swiftly in fast-moving markets, provided of course that the companies concerned are ready to seriously address and solve the problems at stake”, he concluded.

FairSearch is an organization formed by the 17 companies that reported to Google, stating that the company is a threat for internet's future. Behind this name, we can find Microsoft, TripAdvisor,  eDreams and Expedia, among others.

According to the online organization, Google “is using its enormous power in search and search advertising to maintain and extend its dominance a the expense of competition and consumers”, using deceptive search display and search manipulation, acquisitions of competitive threats, unauthorized or coerced scraping of content and unfair treatment of advertisers and partners.  

“A continued scrutiny is needed”, it says and explain that, “enforcers most ensure that Google abides by existing antitrust laws in order to protect innovation, economic growth and consumers.”