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Google must do more to resolve antitrust case, European competition commissioner says

BusinessNews
by Rawiya Kameir
, 21 Sep 2012News
Google must do more to resolve antitrust case, European competition commissioner says

Google’s European antitrust saga is far from over. Speaking at Fordham University in New York, EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia warned the search giant that it could be charged with breaching European antitrust regulations if it does not take further steps to address concerns over its search practices.

Google is the midst of talks with the regulatory body to resolve the issue, which stems from complaints levied by the competitors such as Microsoft, who claim that the company exploits its leading position in the search engine market to promote its own products over those of competitors.

The Commission is also investigating claims that Google blocks competitors’ advertisements and that integrates others companies’ travel and restaurant review content without permission.

Though negotiations have been ongoing since July, Almunia has said a solution has yet to be reached.

"We are not there yet, and it must be clear that, in the absence of satisfactory proposals in the short term, I will be obliged to continue with our formal proceedings,” the antitrust chief said.

“If effective solutions were found quickly and tested successfully, competition could be restored at an early stage,” he added.

In a statement, Google has insisted that it is working with the EU to reach a satisfactory resolution.

"We continue to work cooperatively with the Commission," said Google spokesperson Al Verney.

Meanwhile, the US Federal Trade Commission has said it hopes to conclude its own Google antitrust case by the end of the year, whether that means ending the investigation or bringing formal charges against the Mountain View, California-based company.

Image Credit: Flickr (FriendsofEurope)

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