EU giving Google one last chance to settle antitrust search case

The European Union’s antitrust chief has given Google a final chance to settle matter related to anti-competitiveness with its main search engine, according to a Reuters report.

The EU first opened up an investigation in November 2010 after rival companies like Microsoft accused Google of abusing its dominant position in the search market to boost up its own advertising services. If Google is found guilty, it could face a fine of up to 10 percent of its global financial turnover.

EU antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia said both regulators and Google are eager to reach a settlement, thus avoiding lengthy proceedings that risk becoming obsolete due to the rapid growth of technology, according to the report.

“I believe that these fast-moving markets would particularly benefit from a quick resolution of the competition issues identified. Restoring competition swiftly to the benefit of users at an early stage is always better than lengthy proceedings,” Almunia said. “Google has repeatedly expressed to me its willingness to discuss any concerns that the Commission might have without having to engage in adversarial proceedings, this is why today I’m giving Google an opportunity to offer remedies to address concerns that we have identified.”

In a letter to Google, Almunia is said to have given the search giant a matter of weeks to come up with a first proposal that would satisfy all the EU’s issues regarding anti-competitiveness.

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