Google revises settlement offer in EU antitrust case

The search giant has revised its concessions package as part of its efforts to address a string of EU antitrust concerns.

Google has updated its list of concessions as part of efforts to settle an ongoing EU antitrust probe into its business practices, a newspaper report said.

The search behemoth was put under the European antitrust spotlight in 2010 after rivals launched allegations of anti-competitive behavior.

A report by the Financial Times of London says EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia recently spoke to Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt to seek clarification on a number of points made in the search giant's initial settlement offer, first submitted just over two weeks ago .

The initial letter sent by Schmidt to Almunia addressed the "four areas the European Commission described" in June -- which can be found here. The details of the letter were not disclosed, however.

European antitrust regulators are looking to "clarify some of the aspects of the answers we received from Google," according to Bloomberg, but noted the conversations between the commission and Google have not ended yet.

Almunia also said recently he would prefer to "avoid lengthy proceedings", but made clear that should Google fail to adequately satisfy the commission, "formal proceedings will continue" and Google would be served an official antitrust complaint.

Almunia would decide on whether to allow Google to settle or to charge it with a fully-fledged antitrust complaint in the next two weeks, according to the newspaper.

Sister site ZDNet was told Almunia's office "could not comment" on the newspaper's report.

Google faces a fine of up to 10 percent of its global annual turnover should it be found flouting European antitrust laws. That comes close to $4 billion (3.26 billion euros).

A Google spokesperson did not respond for comment, although it was U.S. working hours.

 

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