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Search is on for Google EU competition solution

Search is on for Google EU competition solution
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The European Union’s competition regulator said an offer has been received from Google that could settle its long-running dispute with Brussels.

The company has said it will change how it displays Internet search results after being taken to task over alleged blocking of competitors in those results.

Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia called this a “key moment”. He added: “With the significant improvements on the table, I think we have the possibility to work again.”

Almunia is hoping for a settlement by next spring.

The Google offer covers computers and mobile devices which had been a particular concern of the companies which had lodged the complaints.

The EU investigation into allegations that Google was blocking competitors has been running for three years.

Unless the matter was settled the company faced a in order to avert a possible 3.7 billion euro fine.

Google, which has a market share of over 80 percent in Europe’s Internet search market, told the Commission in April it would mark out its services from rival products in internet search results.

It also proposed providing links to at least three competing search engines and make it easier for advertisers to transfer their search advertising campaigns to rival platforms.

It offered further concessions in September.

Kent Walker, Google’s general counsel, said in a statement the European Commission had insisted on big changes to the way the company displays search results.

“While competition online is thriving, we’ve made the difficult decision to agree to their requirements in the interests of reaching a settlement,” Walker said.