The European Commission investigating Google in the region has once again rejected the company’s proposals to settle a search-related antitrust case, Reuters reports. This is the second time the Commission has shot down Google’s proposals, citing competition concerns.
“The latest offer as submitted by Google in October, following the series of consultations that we have carried out with more than 100 interlocutors — those who submitted complaints against Google, the relevant participants in the sector and a lot of other people — the latest proposals are not acceptable,” EU competition head Joaquin Almunia on Friday told a Spanish radio, adding that the “they are not proposals that can eliminate our concerns regarding competition and in particular regarding the way Google’s rivals in vertical search — search for products and price comparison, restaurants, etc. — are being treated.”
Google can still make additional concessions to keep the EU off its back in the region. “At this moment there is little time left, but the ball is still in Google’s court,” Almunia said. “But within a short timeframe, the ball will then be here and then it will be the moment to take decisions.” Google faces a fine of up to $5 billion in the case, according to Reuters.
Late last week, a report from The Wall Street Journal revealed that Google may not skate free in EU’s antitrust probe, as it was previously believed. Google’s competitors including Microsoft and other companies have recently expressed their distrust in Google’s proposed concessions, bringing up a new eye-tracking study that showed how regular customers are likely to click on certain Google services in Search results because of the way the company has been displaying these results.
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