Newspaper: brussel takes google to task harder than us colleagues

Eu competition commissioner joaquin almunia said his office was continuing to investigate allegations that google had discriminated against competitors in its leading internet search engine. At the same time, almunia spoke of progress after a meeting with google board chairman eric schmidt. Since the beginning of the talks in july, the differences have been considerably reduced. He expects official proposals from google in january, the commissioner said.

In the U.S., according to media reports, the most serious accusation by competitors that google has discriminated against them in favor of its own services in search results is off the table for antitrust watchdogs. Almunia, on the other hand, told the head of the U.S. Federal trade commission (FTC), jon leibowitz, later this month that EU regulators would continue to focus on this issue, the new york times reported. In europe, it is more difficult to dismiss allegations of abuse of a dominant position on the grounds of consumer benefits. Google had always replied to the accusations that it was operating a service for users and not for other search engines.

Former FTC chief bill kovacic stressed that possible concessions in europe could also affect the entire business of google. "The decisions made in brussel will set a global standard for them," he told "politico". Other experts, however, believe that google will then set up different search systems for europe and the rest of the world.

In the U.S., among the concessions to prevent a competition lawsuit is that google will make less use of restaurant ratings or travel reviews from other websites, as the website "politico" and the "new york times" reported. In addition, he said, it should be easier to switch advertising campaigns with the entire data packages to other search engines. This is also in line with the other points of investigation made by the EU regulators, which almunia again raised.

Google has a dominant position in the search engine business in the USA with a market share of approximately 67 percent. In europe, google’s market share is even higher than in the united states. In germany even about 95 percent of all search inquiries are served by google.

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