Feeds

Microsoft-backed lobby group demands market test of Google's proposed 'search fix'

Settlement deal could be a matter of days away for ad giant

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

A Microsoft-backed lobby group is urging Brussels' competition chief Joaquin Almunia to open up Google's latest revised offer of a conciliatory package of tweaks to its search biz to the ad giant's rivals.

Earlier this week, it was reported that the European Commission was closing in on a settlement deal with Google that would apparently allow the company to dodge admittance of any wrongdoing and a fine that could be as high as 10 per cent of its annual global turnover.

Almunia's office has declined to comment on the claim that it had received a fresh package of concessions from Google to try to end a three-year long antitrust investigation into the multinational's search business practices in Europe.

Google's enemies have long claimed that the firm commands airlock control of the search market in the 28-member bloc, thereby suffocating other online players.

Almunia has been probing those claims and has twice rejected offers from Mountain View.

But it has been reported that the EC's vice president is happy with Google's third attempt at a settlement deal with the commission. Sources have claimed that the rehashed offer is "much better" even though it apparently contains few "dramatic changes".

Brussels' competition boss has strongly hinted that it has reached a "decisive moment in the investigation".

However, it i not the first time such rhetoric has been heard from Almunia. He certainly appears to understand how to build tension on this particular case.

Lobby group ICOMP - which includes Microsoft and the Premier League as backers - has written a letter (PDF) to the antitrust chief in which the outfit's legal counsel, David Wood, called on the commission to allow Google's foes to scrutinise the latest offer.

"Only a market test will bring the transparency and inclusion necessary to support a solution that, in your words, 'many people will receive in a positive way'," he said.

The Register asked Almunia's office to comment on this story, but it hadn't got back to us at time of writing. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Has Europe cut the UK adrift on data protection?
EU reckons we've one foot out the door anyway
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Government's 'Google Review' copyright rules become law
Welcome in a New Era ... of copyright litigation
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.