Google, EU Deal on Search Includes Search Display Changes
Google will move to improve how it labels ads in its search results and how it displays links to competitors to resolve antitrust allegations in Europe.The settlement stems from claims by Google competitors that have long complained that Google favors its own search results over theirs. Those complaints led to the investigation by the EC. The EU had received a collection of antitrust remedy proposals from Google in late January and was reviewing them to determine if the matter could be resolved through a settlement. Google had been trying to come up with proposed remedies for some time that would satisfy EU regulators and persuade them to close their case against the search giant. Google had sent previous lists of proposals to the EU in the summer of 2012, but those earlier proposals failed to satisfy European regulators. Google was given more time—until this past Jan. 31—to submit new proposals. The EU investigation centers on what regulators regard as Google's dominant position in search. Google holds more than 60 percent of the world's search market, with Microsoft's Bing being a distant second. Competitors have claimed that Google works its search algorithms to favor its own products and results over those of others, giving it an unfair advantage in search and Web advertising. Google's legal situation in Europe continues even as a similar antitrust probe in the United States was resolved in Google's favor in January. Instead of a major antitrust prosecution in the United States, Google entered into a voluntary agreement with the Federal Trade Commission to change some of its business practices to resolve the complaints of some competitors about Google's practices.