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'We've done nothing wrong' - Schmidt on Euro antitrust probe

Defiant Google supremo buttonholed by El Reg

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Big Tent Google chairman Eric Schmidt has declined to be drawn on possible incoming antitrust law infringement charges in Europe.

The Register repeatedly asked Schmidt to explain if his company would indeed offer up "remedies" to Brussels officials currently probing Google's business practices, which some rivals have claimed favours the ad broker's search engine over others.

Google has maintained that it is not aware of anything it had done wrong that could be perceived as violating European law.

Schmidt was attending the search giant's annual Big Tent event in Watford today.

But El Reg was dissatisfied with his response.

"I'm sorry you're disappointed," he told us, before going on to reiterate that Google is still in conversation mode with Europe's competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia.

Earlier this week, Almunia indicated that there was almost certainly a case to answer for and outlined four areas of concern where the company might be guilty of "abuses of dominance".

When quizzed by The Reg specifically on that detail, Schmidt declined to respond on whether his firm would indeed put forward any "remedies" as requested by Almunia, who was clear that a Statement of Objections could be issued within weeks if Google didn't play ball.

Schmidt claimed that he hadn't seen any precise examples of which laws his company might have abused and remained steadfast that his firm would be continuing to talk to the competition commissioner and his team.

Earlier, Schmidt told the Big Tent crowd that he was "not aware of anything we've done wrong. We're happy to be educated on the contrary".

Beyond that, he said "we're not going to speculate", which is interesting not least because of the amount of evidence that has been placed in the public domain from complainants who have grumbled to the European Commission that Google does favour its own search results over others. ®

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