EU may revisit Google antitrust settlement, report says

After reaching a controversial deal with European regulators in February, the EU may revise terms of Google's settlement.

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The European Commission will likely take another look at a Google antitrust probe that garnered widespread criticism from European officials and rivals of the search giant, reported The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

In February, Google reached a tentative settlement with European regulators after an investigation into its practices around surfacing search results related to its own products, versus those of competitors. As part of the settlement, Google agreed to display search results to its own services in the same way as those for rival companies but did not pay a fine.

EU regulators will likely revise some terms of the deal, according to the Journal. Bloomberg suggests that could mean more changes to way Google displays search results in Europe. A final decision on whether or not to revise the terms is expected in September. Google did not immediately return a request for comment.

The matter underscores worry over Google's expansive reach, and the search giant's ability to abuse its influence to hurt competitors. EU Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia has defended the settlement, even as it has been met with strong opposition. In recent months, Deutsche Telekom AG and French and German publishers have filed additional complaints about Google, according to Bloomberg.

Google has also received criticism from Yelp, the local business listings service, for reportedly favoring Google's listings over Yelp's listings. According to a TechCrunch report published earlier this month, Yelp complained that Google search results in United States obscure the listings of competitors. Google's search results in Europe are friendlier to rivals, said the report, so as not to anger EU regulators.

 

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