Is Google Willing to Play Nice in Europe?
Like the United States’ Federal Trade Commission, regulators in the EU want to prevent Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) from diverting business from its competitors by distorting search results and customers’ choices. Back in December, the European Union’s Commissioner for Competition, Joaquín Almunia, told the company to submit a “detailed commitment text” by January 31 that would explain how to fix this problem.
Google just barely made the deadline. The company submitted a proposal on Thursday detailing what items it was willing to settle.
Search is Google’s most important business, and regulators in Europe have been concerned that the company has abused its dominant position by giving results from its own services, like maps or restaurant reviews, artificially high rankings. The Federal Trade Commission addressed its antitrust concerns at the beginning of this month, agreeing to a settlement that required Google to license patents and stop giving preferential treatment to its own services in search results.
Now that Google has submitted its proposal to the European Commission, the question is whether the EU’s executive body will exact tougher concessions than U.S. regulators. There will most likely be several differences. Sources told AllThingsD that this settlement will not address patents and include parameters for labeling its search results. However, just as in the FTC’s ruling, the technology company will not have to admit to any wrongdoing…