EU competition chief wants more from Google to settle antitrust

Joaquin Almunia says Google's concessions are not enough to make a difference in online competition.

Despite its best efforts to put a three-year antitrust investigation behind it, Google isn't out of the woods just yet.

The search company's proposals are "not enough to overcome our concerns," Joaquin Almunia, the European Union's antitrust chief, said Wednesday at a press conference in Brussels. Google must do more to put the EU's antitrust case to rest, he added, according to Reuters.

Google has been in the EU's crosshairs for the last three years over what Almunia has called "abuses of dominance." Google, which owns over 80 percent of the European search market, is accused of promoting its own services to the detriment of competitors.

Earlier this year, Almunia's office received a proposal from Google that the company hoped would end the antitrust proceedings. Among the concessions was Google's plan to mark its own products in search results and show at least three rival sites whenever one of its products was displayed. Google also promised to allow advertisers to easily switch from its platforms to those from competitors.

Almunia didn't say in Wednesday's press conference what he's else seeking from Google, but it's clear that the search giant needs to offer something else. Almunia's comments came after he solicited opinions on Google's offer from the company's competitors. Many of them stated that Google wasn't offering enough and that its concessions would in no way change the competitive landscape online.

Google has stood by its current offer.

"Our proposal to the European Commission clearly addresses their four areas of concern," a Google rep said. "We continue to work with the Commission to settle this case."

Update at 6:05 a.m. PT to include Google's statement.

 

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