concessions Stories April 25, 2013

Earlier this month we heard that Google had handed in a formal offer of concessions to the  European Union Competition Commissioner in the ongoing antirust investigation into whether some of Google’s practices with its search and ad businesses create unfair competition and abuse the company’s dominance. At the time we didn’t get to see what the settlement proposal actually included, but today the commission issued a press release asking for feedback on the proposed commitments and detailing some of the proposals Google submitted:

Google has made proposals to try to address the Commission’s four competition concerns. Interested parties can now submit their comments within one month. The Commission will take them into account in its analysis of Google’s commitment proposals. If the Commission concludes that they address its four competition concerns, it may decide to make them legally binding on Google.

Among the most interesting commitments submitted by Google: For 5 years Google has agreed to “label promoted links to its own specialised search services”, as well as allow websites the ability to opt out from having specific pieces of content indexed by Google. Google would also no longer require publishers to utilize online search advertisements through sourced only through it.

A breakdown of Google’s proposals is below and the full version of its commitments can be found on the DG Competition’s website hereexpand full story

concessions Stories April 11, 2013

Google hands in formal offer of concessions to EU Commission in ongoing antitrust investigation

Back in early February, European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia confirmed Google had handed in a proposal settlement in the ongoing antirust investigation into whether some of Google’s practices with its search and ad businesses create unfair competition and abuse the company’s dominance. Today Reuters reports that Google has not submitted an official offer of concessions to the Commission:

“In the last few weeks, the Commission completed its preliminary assessment formally setting out its concerns. On this basis, Google then made a formal submission of commitments to the Commission,” said Antoine Colombani, the Commission’s spokesman on competition policy.

“We are now preparing the launch of a market test to seek feedback from market players, including complainants, on these commitment proposals,” he said.

One thing conveniently left out of the report: at this point we do not know what the commitments Google has made and how they might reflect the user experience for customers.

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