Google May Change Search Results to Settle EU Case
It would depict competing services equally, at least in Europe
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 5, 2014 1:58 PM CST
In this Dec. 6, 2011 file photo, the Google logo is seen on the carpet at Google France offices, in Paris.   (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon, Pool, File)

(Newser) – The European Union's antitrust watchdog today accepted "far-reaching" concessions offered by Google to settle allegations it is abusing its dominant position in Internet searches, bringing the 3-year-old case close to an end. Google would significantly change the ways it displays some search results in Europe in favor of its competitors. A shopping search for a gas grill, for example, would yield two boxes of the same size and position at the top of the search results page, one showing three "Google shopping results" and immediately to the left of it three results labeled "Alternatives," according to an example provided by the commission.

Reaching a settlement will spare the company a longer antitrust procedure that could have resulted in fines of up to 10% of the company's annual revenue, or about $5 billion. Google's proposals will now be sent to the 18 original plaintiffs for evaluation before the commission makes a final decision in the coming months. The plaintiffs' initial reactions were negative, but EU Antitrust Commissioner Joaquin Almunia says he's "strongly convinced" the deal is sufficient and will be upheld.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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Showing 3 of 4 comments
Ultraworld
Feb 5, 2014 8:21 PM CST
No one forces you to use any search engine. I decide the search engine I prefer.
harrisph12
Feb 5, 2014 3:39 PM CST
10% of Google's annual revenue? Talk about twisting their arm behind their back... jeez.
kj_nm
Feb 5, 2014 2:58 PM CST
a few years ago, it was the EU who clipped MS for their tactics, now they're going after Google. Disappointing that consumers in the US have to rely on the Europeans to keep these American companies inline. Wonder if they would take a look at banks for us, Madoff and his banking buddies are getting away with fraud