EU wants Google concessions for all platforms: sources

BRUSSELS Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:29am EDT

A woman walks past the Google Chicago headquarters logo in Chicago, March 20, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young

A woman walks past the Google Chicago headquarters logo in Chicago, March 20, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jim Young

Related Topics

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU regulators, investigating Google for alleged anti-competitive behavior, want the internet search giant to offer concessions that cover all platforms, including computers, tablets and mobile devices, two people familiar with the issue said on Friday.

If Google is not able to provide satisfactory concessions, it will face charges and potentially severe fines, the EU's competition commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, has said.

Almunia wants remedies for all computing devices that have access to the Internet and provide a search capability, one of the people said.

Mobile devices and tablets are increasingly becoming gateways to the Web and Web-based content such as movies and music.

Earlier this month, the world's most popular search engine proposed concessions in a bid to settle an 18-month long investigation fueled by complaints from rivals including Microsoft. Neither Google nor the EU have said what those concessions were.

The European Commission is now examining the offer. The EU watchdog has said Google may unfairly favor other Google services over rivals and may have copied material from other websites, such as travel and restaurant reviews without permission.

It is also concerned that Google's advertising deals may exclude third parties from concluding similar deals with rivals while contractual restrictions on software developers may prevent advertisers from transferring their online campaigns to rival search engines.

Companies can be fined up to 10 percent of their turnover for breaching EU rules. In Google's case, that could reach $4 billion based on its 2011 results.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Mark Potter)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (2)
AZWarrior wrote:
Perhaps the EU should encourage innovation rather than strangling it to death on its own turf. Google should tell them to develop their own solutions if they are so concerned about Google’s success. Just another example of the lazy unmotivated left trying to take what isn’t theirs.

Jul 21, 2012 8:43pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Jim1648 wrote:
Google could just cut off Europe, and then after they collapse could buy them up cheaply. (If they want them.)

Jul 22, 2012 1:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.