Google ups concessions, hopes to end EU investigation - report

The company could announce a deal with the EU competition watchdog within the next few days, according to a new report.

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Don Reisinger

Google has improved concessions in an effort to end an antitrust investigation brought on by the European Union's competition watchdog, according to a new report.

Google recently submitted new concessions to EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia that have been deemed "much better," Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. Though certain aspects of the deal are still being worked out, an agreement could be announced as early as this week. By making an agreement with the EU, Google could escape an antitrust fine of up to $5 billion.

The EU has been placing demands on Google for years, alleging that the company gives preferential treatment to its services in search results. In earlier concessions, Google said that it would highlight competing services and make it easier for advertisers to switch services. Earlier this month, however, Almunia said that the concessions weren't enough.

If the deal is announced, it would finally put an end to a long, bitter battle between Google and its competitors over the search giant's alleged antitrust activities. After Google brought previous proposals to Almunia's office, the search giant's competitors were allowed to analyze and chime in. According to Reuters, they won't be afforded that courtesy this time, because the office already knows what they want.

CNET has contacted Google for comment on the report. We will update this story when we have more information.