Or in a couple of weeks, at the very latest

Google may have finally pleased the the European Commission with its latest round of proposals regarding search dominance, which means a settlement could arrive any day now.

According to Reuters, Google could settle with the European Commission in the next few days, or in a couple of weeks at the very latest, ending a nearly four-year antitrust investigation as to whether Google arranges search results in a way that benefits itself instead of consumers and competitors. 

The latest proposals, which were submitted this month, said Google would allow competitors to display their logos and web links in a prominent box in search results, and content providers will be able to decide what material Google can use for its own services. Also, Google would make it easier for advertisers to promote on rival platforms such as Microsoft's Bing.

This is Google's third proposal, as the other two didn't seem to please the European Commission or Google's rivals. There are four main concerns the European Commission needs addressed: Google gives unfair preference in search results to its own services, tries to prevent clients from using other advertising platforms, duplicates content without permission, and ties up publishers with exclusivity deals.


The European Commission will not take feedback from Google's 125 rivals this time, and is expected to settle in days. This settlement means Google will have escaped as much as a $5 billion fine, or 10 percent of its 2012 revenue.

This probably sounds similar to the two-year investigation the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched against Google regarding its dominance on the Web. Instead of paying fines, the FTC made Google promise that it would stop scraping reviews and information from other websites, stop requesting sales bans when suing companies for patent infringement and allow advertisers to export data in order to evaluate advertising campaigns.

The decision to not fine Google after such a long investigation surprised many rival companies, but FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz said it was in the best interest of all involved.

The EU swore not to go easy on Google the way the FTC did, and while the EU investigation has been lengthier than the FTCs, it looks like Google is still dodging fines. 

Source: Reuters

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