Recent reports suggest that Google is on the verge of striking a deal with the EU to end a two investigation after being accused of monopolistic behavior in the EU market.
After a two-year inquiry, the European Commission has accepted Google’s proposed settlement,” By Claire Cain Miller writes for the New York Times. “Google will not have to change the algorithm that produces its search results, the people said. Under the proposal, Google agrees to clearly label search results from its own properties, like Google Plus Local or Google News, and in some cases to show links from rival search engines.
According to a new report, the EU antitrust commissioner – Joaquin Almunia confirms that any form of anti-trust settlement agreement between Google and the European Union will be confined to the European market.
However, the FairSearch Coalition believes that more should be done to extend remedies to other countries. According to the report:
Technology industry organization FairSearch Coalition Brussels lawyer Thomas Wenjie (Thomas Vinje), said in an e-mail, that the EU jurisdiction is limited to European economies, but the conduct at issue in the European economies within the region produce anti-competitive effects. Consequently, the EU should ensure remedies extended to outside the region. FairSearch Coalition members include Microsoft, Expedia and Nokia . European economies, including the 27 EU countries, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
Early this year, the U.S. government completed their 20-month investigation on whether Google unfairly promotes their services in their search results Google. In the end, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission ruled Google’s behavior was meant to improve the search results rather than suppress competition.
According Almunia, Google has a very different position in the market in the United States compared to the EU. In the US, Google competitors occupy about 30% market share in the United States. However, in Europe Google search market share is more than 90% .
Consequently, the outcome is likely to differ from that of the FTC investigation.