In EU antitrust case, Google ratchets ups concessions

The search giant reportedly has ponied up new proposals as it aims to avoid a fine that could go as high as $5 billion fine.

Google
Dan Farber/CNET

Google has submitted new concessions to the European Commission with the aim of avoiding an antitrust fine of up to $5 billion.

The new proposals, confirmed by the Commission on Monday to the Associated Press, will aim to resolve differences between the company and the 28 member state bloc, amid calls that Google is stifling competition in the region.

The Commission reportedly denied to comment on the new submission, but said it was assessing it. 

The Europeans earlier this year warned that should Google fail to resolve its alleged anticompetitive practices, it could face a partial block of its business in the region.

Weeks later, unhappy with the submitted proposal, which outline four main areas of concern, the EU rejected the proposals as "not enough."

"Google has to decide whether it improves the planned solutions it presented," EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said. Meanwhile, Google's senior vice president and general counsel Kent Walker said in a blog post just days prior that he thought the company "did a pretty good job" in addressing the Commission's concerns.

The search giant currently has close to 90 percent of the share market. The EU has been probing the firm for three years to determine whether or not it has favored its own services, thus boosting its own market share in advertising and search results.

A final decision on whether Google breached EU antitrust law, which comes with a stiff financial penalty of up to 10 percent of a company's global annual revenue, is expected before the end of the year.

This story originally appeared at ZDNet's Between the Lines under the headline "Google submits further concessions in bid to avoid EU antitrust fine."

 

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