Google Offers More Concessions In Bid To End Three Year Antitrust Case

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Google has submitted further concessions to the European Commission in a move to avoid a potential $5bn fine and put an end to a three year antitrust investigation.

The latest offer comes just two months after the European antitrust commission rejected the search engine giant's initial proposals and demanded further action was taken.

EU Commission spokesman, Jonathan Todd, said: "The Commission received a proposal from Google and is assessing it."

The search engine giant initially submitted a list of concessions to the European Commission in January, but following a market test in June, had them rebuffed by the EC in July. The body's antitrust commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, concluded the measures were not enough to overcome the EC's initial concerns.

Amongst its proposed remedies in Jaunuary, Google offered to better label its own products such as Google Shopping and YouTube on its Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).

At present however, no further information has been disclosed as to the latest proposed concessions by Google, but Google spokesman, Al Verney, believes the latest proposals will adequately meet the demands of the EC.

He said: "Our proposal to the European Commission addresses their four areas of concern. We continue to work with the Commission to settle this case."

Lobbying group Fairsearch represents members including Microsoft, Foundem and Expedia amongst other firms and it is this deemed lack of commitment by Google, that FairSearch lawyer, Thomas Vinje, hopes is changed.

He said: "Given the failure of Google to make a serious offer last time around, we believe it is necessary that customers and competitors of Google be consulted in a full, second market test."

The investigation into Google first started in November 2010 with British vertical search firm, Foundem, pointing out Google products such as Google Maps, always scored higher than its own offerings.

At the time the EC established Google was the dominant force in the search engine industry, naturally attracting a lot more search engine marketing business than its rivals, but flagged a number of concerns over how its business worked including how it diverting traffic away from its competitors, towards its own services and re-using third-party content, for example news and reviews.

If any changes are pushed through, Europe would be the only region in the world to force Google into changing how it operates its SERPs . In a similar antitrust case in the US, the FTC found Google not guilty of any wrongdoings and decided not to take any further action against the Internet giant.

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