Monday, May 20, 2024

Europe Not Satisfied with Google’s Proposed Concessions

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In April, Google proposed a series of steps that it hoped would address European Commission (EC) concerns about its search practices. Now the EC has responded by saying those proposals are inadequate.

The Telegraph’s Christopher Williams reported, “Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said on Wednesday that Google’s offer to label its own services in general web search results and display more rival services did not go far enough. ‘After an analysis of the market test that was concluded on June 27, I concluded that the proposals that Google sent to us are not enough to overcome our concerns,’ he said.”

BBC News added, “In response, Google spokesman Al Verney said the search giant remained committed to settling the case, and that its offer ‘clearly addresses’ the four areas of concern highlighted by the EU.”

James Kanter with The New York Times explained, “One of the major proposals from Google was that it would show links to the Web sites of competitors who offer specialized search services. In cases where Google sells advertising adjacent to search results for specific industries like restaurants and hotels, Google would provide a menu of at least three options for non-Google search services. In addition, Google offered to label results that pointed to its own services — like Google Maps — as its own properties and separate them from general search results with a box. Google’s agreement would be legally binding for five years, and a third party, approved by the commission, would be put in place to monitor compliance.”

Foo Yun Chee with Reuters noted, “Google, which has a market share of over 80 percent in Europe’s Internet search market according to research firm comScore, could face a fine as much as $5 billion if it does not resolve the issue.”

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