Google says makes proposals to EU on competition concerns
Google said Monday it had made proposals to EU regulators who have threatened to impose huge fines unless the Internet search giant allay concerns it has abused its dominant market position.
"We have made a proposal to address the four areas the European Commission described as potential concerns," said Google spokesman Al Verney.
The proposals, made in a letter from Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt to EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, followed a demand by EU anti-trust officials in May to quickly respond to their concerns.
A Commission spokesman confirmed it had received a letter from Google and anti-trust officials would now analyse the response.
The European Commission launched its antitrust investigation in November 2010, looking into allegations that Google had abused a dominant market position following complaints from rivals.
Microsoft-owned Internet portal Ciao was an early complainant, with over a dozen plaintiffs now attached to the case.
Almunia said in May that the probe had identified areas of significant concern in Brussels, notably: "preferential treatment" in the hierarchical presentation of search results; doubts over Google's full respect of copyrights; and "restrictions" written into advertising contracts and the "portability" of advertising across different Internet platforms.
If satisfied with Google's response the Commission could close its investigation. Otherwise it could possibly push forward the case to the next stage with a formal statement of objections.
© 2012 AFP