As reported by Bloomberg, European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia today confirmed that Google was able to make yesterday’s Jan. 31 deadline for submitting a settlement proposal in the ongoing antitrust investigation. There is no word yet what exactly the proposed settlement might have included, but a spokesperson for Almunia said Google had sent a “detailed proposal.” Google said it continues to “work co-operatively with the commission.” The probe involves whether some of Google’s practices with its search and ad businesses create unfair competition and abuse the company’s dominance.
Almunia had asked Google to submit concessions by the end of January to address allegations that the company promotes its own specialist search-services, copies rivals’ travel and restaurant reviews, and has agreements with websites and software developers that stifle competition in the advertising industry. He first told Google in May that he wanted to settle the case
The issues at the heart of the investigation are not unlike those involved in the Federal Trade Commission’s recent antitrust probe in the United States. Earlier this month, the FTC announced evidence “does not support a claim that Google was abusing placement of search results” and officially closed its investigation. In that case, Google agreed to license its Motorola patents on fair terms to any other company and alter some of its search results “to let websites opt out of having their content scraped without being punished in overall search results.”
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