* Source: tentative talks to resolve antitrust probe
* No concrete proposals on table
* EU Commission says still waiting for market views
* EU seeking views on Google behaviour by Feb. 11
* EU Commission can fine firms up to 10 percent of sales
(Adds more EU Commission comment)
By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS, Feb 7 Google (GOOG.O) and European
Union regulators are in tentative talks to resolve an antitrust
probe against the Internet's dominant search engine, a source
familiar with the case said on Monday.
A deal could avert a lengthy battle and possible fine for
the U.S.-based company.
The European Commission opened an investigation into Google
last November after three complainants accused it of abusing its
position by demoting rival sites in search results and giving
preference to its own services.
"There is some interest from both sides, some tentative
discussions in resolving the issue, but no really concrete
proposals on the table," the source told Reuters.
A Commission spokeswoman said the EU executive was not in
discussions with Google at the moment and was still reviewing
"As is known, the Commission is conducting an in-depth
market investigation and is still awaiting replies. We will not
prejudge the outcome of the market investigation and of this
case," spokeswoman Amelia Torres said.
A Commission decision on the case could take months.
Since opening its investigation, the EU antitrust watchdog
has sent questionnaires to advertisers, publishers, website
owners and rival search engines, asking for their views on
Google's business practices by Feb. 11.
The Commission is expected to take several months to digest
the feedback. Google on Monday reiterated that it was
co-operating with the regulator.
"There's always going to be room for improvement, so we'll
be working with the Commission to address any concerns,"
spokesman Al Verney said.
Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt told Britain's Sunday
Telegraph in an interview that the company was keen to avoid a
lengthy legal battle.
The Commission, which can fine companies up to 10 percent of
their global turnover for breaching EU rules, has imposed
billion-euro penalties on Microsoft (MSFT.O) and Intel (INTC.O)
in the past year for anti-competitive behaviour.
(Editing by David Brunnstrom and David Cowell)