Search engine giant, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) offered additional compromises to settle the three-year investigation of the European Commission in connection with the complaints that it was using its dominance to block its competitors such as Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and to prevent the possible penalty of $5 billion, according to a report from Reuters.
Google could settle the EU antitrust investigation without paying a fine
In April, it has been reported that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) could settle the EU antitrust investigation without paying a fine after submitting a package of concession to the European Commission. The Commission launched a market test to determine whether it would accept the remedies offered by the search engine giant. However, Google faced demands to improve its proposals. Critics believed that the concessions were inadequate.
Despite its argument that its concessions addressed the four concerns raised in the complaint, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) offered further compromise after the European Commission asked the company to submit additional measures to ease concerns.
Jonathan Todd, spokesperson for the European Commission said, “The Commission received a proposal from Google and is assessing it.”
Google may have violated antitrust laws
The European Commission previously stated that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) may have violated antitrust laws by pushing its own services, copying reviews of restaurants and travel from competing sites without permission, and restricting advertisers from transferring to other service providers.
On the other hand, Google’s spokesperson Al Verney said, “Our proposal to the European Commission addresses their four areas of concern. We continue to work with the Commission to settle this case.”
Meanwhile, FairSearch, the lobbying group composed of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and other competitors in the search market encouraged the commission to seek their feedback regarding the additional concessions submitted by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG).
In a statement, Thomas Vinje, the legal counsel of FairSearch commented, “Given the failure of Google to make a serious offer last time around, we believe it is necessary that customers and competitors of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) be consulted in a full, second market test.”
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has 80 percent market share in the Internet search market in Europe based on the data from comScore. One of the proposals offered by the search engine giant was to label its own services in search results to differentiate it from the products of its competitors. The company also offered to impose fewer restrictions on advertisers, and to provide links to at least three other search engine providers.