The group that’s fined companies like Microsoft and Intel billions of euros in the past few years might reach a less harsh solution where its antitrust probe of Google is concerned. Rumors indicate that Google and the European Commission are holding talks.
Note: these rumors are very much unproven, with even the unnamed source who leaked them indicating that negotiations aren’t far along. Google could still be in a lot of trouble.
Reuters reported this morning, however, "Google and European Union regulators are in early talks to resolve an antitrust probe against the Internet’s dominant search engine."
More specifically, Reuters’s source said, "There is some interest from both sides, some tentative discussions in resolving the issue, but no really concrete proposals on the table."
It might be in Google’s best interest to reach an agreement. Microsoft won a bit sympathy the last time the European Commission levied a fine – people thought the fine was too large – but corporations of that size risk damaging their reputations when they battle in the spotlight. Lots of unpleasant details (and/or unfounded allegations) can come out.
We’ll of course be sure to follow the story and report any significant updates.
Google’s stock is up 1.01 percent so far today, at least, perhaps indicating that shareholders are feeling encouraged.