Google Settlement

The search engine is reported quaking in its boots about the prospect of receiving a huge fine from the European Union for its anti-trust antics. The company has confirmed that it would settle antitrust charges following an ultimatum by the European regulators who investigated its business practices.

Joaquin Almunia, the Competition Commissioner of the European Union, set an early July deadline for the search giant to resolve the concerns of over a dozen competitors, one of which is Microsoft.

The representative of the search engine, Al Verney, told in the interview that Google had made a proposal to address the 4 areas the European Commission regarded as concerns. Those 4 areas seem to have come from the European watchdog that barked about the engine’s business practices after an 18-month long investigation.

Meanwhile, Antoine Colombani (a spokesperson for Almunia) confirmed that the watchdog of the European Union had got a letter from the search engine’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt. However, nothing was said about the watchdog being satisfied yet.

They argue that the search giant may have favored its own search services over its competitors, including Microsoft. Besides, it may have also copied travel and restaurant reviews from the rivals’ websites without their permission.

An allegation is that the engine’s advertising deals with various websites effectively stopped its competitors from operating. At the same time, its contractual restrictions managed to prevent advertisers from moving their Internet campaigns away from the company.

FairSearch, whose members are Internet travel agencies and Google complainants Expedia and TripAdvisor, is hoping that the search engine’s proposals would address these problems.