Can Google’s EU Concessions Help It Avoid a $5 Billion Fine?
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has offered to make even more concessions to the European Commission to dodge an antitrust fine related to its search engine business that could top $5 billion, a report from the antitrust regulator seen by Reuters said on Monday.
A lobbying group called Fairsearch — which includes Google competitors Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE), and several European websites — have accused Google of unfairly blocking competition to retain 80 percent of the European search market. The European Commission has said that Google favors its own services over those of rivals and has even copied business reviews from competing websites without permission, according to Reuters.
“Our proposal to the European Commission addresses their four areas of concern. We continue to work with the Commission to settle this case,” Google spokesman Al Verney said to Reuters. Fairsearch wants to be in on the approval process, but the European Commission didn’t say if it would allow Google’s competitors to review the concessions.