Google Prepares To Settle E.U. Antitrust Case

According to reports, there will be both similarities and differences to last month’s FTC’s ruling on the same matter.

Google Prepares To Settle E.U. Antitrust Case

Weeks after the firm’s anti-trust settlement with the FTC–with what many saw as a resounding win for Mountain View, Google has turned its attention westward to Europe with a view to sorting out its similar issue with the E.U. According to CNET, the search engine giant submitted its proposal to European regulators just before the “end of January” deadline. Neither party was particularly loquacious on the subject: Google murmured, “We continue to work cooperatively with the European Commission.” (The European Commission merely grunted, rolled over and went back to sleep.)

Those clever Trevors at AllThingsD have tracked down a few sources, however, who have indicated what we should expect. Is it going to be a carbon copy of Google’s anti-trust settlement in the U.S. back in January? Apparently not. No patents will be addressed, and there will be instructions to have better labelling in search. Due to a change in the legislation, Google will not be kicked in the wallets, unlike Intel and Microsoft, who were left doubled up on the ground and gasping for air when they got into trouble in the region.

Google first got into trouble in Europe back in 2010, following mutterings from local businesses that the search engine giant was fiddling with its search results to give itself an advantage. Last year, the E.U.’s regulators finished their investigation and thus began the negotiations between the two, with Antitrust commissioner Joaquin Almunia warning the company that it could be eligible for a super-heavyweight fine if it didn’t start punching below its weight when dealing with other firms.

[Image by Flickr user nicolasnova]

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My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.