As previously reported, Google is said to be near a settlement with the EU over its three-year antitrust investigation. Google, according to Reuters, had submitted a new proposal, and a deal is expected to come within days.
FairSearch, a coalition of Google competitors, points out that the report indicates the Commission may move forward without consulting anyone outside of the Commission itself.
In light of this, the coalition stated, “Google’s first two proposals were rejected by Commissioner Joaquin Almunia as a result of the knowledge gained through market tests (including actual testing of the likely effects of the proposals), and it is vital that Google’s third try also be subject to broad consultation.”
“Without actual testing of the likely effects of Google’s latest proposal, any assessment of it would just be speculative,” the coalition added. “The concerns raised by the Commission’s investigation are too important to consumers for them to be addressed by a settlement that is not thoroughly vetted.”
Frankly, it’s hard to imagine FairSearch going along with much of anything Google would be willing to do at this point.
An earlier proposal from Google had the search engine giving links to rival sites “much more real estate and visibility,” including logos with more prominent links and dynamic text providing more info about their sites.
This proposal didn’t go far enough for Google’s competitors. It’s unclear what new concessions Google is offering in the latest one.
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