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EU: Commission may demand more Google concessions after all

 |  July 22, 2014

Despite reports that European Commissioner Joaquin Almunia was steadfast on having a proposed settlement with Google approved within the Commission, assuring critics of the deal that Google would continue to face fresh competition probes, the latest reports suggest that the Commission may require additional concessions from Google after all.

According to a source, the settlement proposal with Google – which would end a longstanding investigation against the search giant – is being considered for revision as the Commission could require new agreements from the company. The source said those revisions may involve how Google-owned YouTube content is presented in search results and how rival data are displayed.

The original settlement was approved by Almunia, though not without controversy. Google rivals, consumer advocates and even some European Commissioners had criticized the settlement as being too lenient; some even said it would make Google’s abusive tactics worse.

In recent weeks several companies filed complaints with the Commission against the proposed settlement deal. Most recently, online review service Yelp filed its own complaint against Google.

According to the anonymous source, the Commission will need to decide whether to move forward with the current settlement as it stands or amend the deal in September.

Almunia had championed the current settlement by assuring critics that Google would continue to case competition probes within the EU; Deutsche Telekom and publishers from France and Germany have filed their own complaints with EU authorities against the tech conglomerate.

Almunia was reported to be seeking closure to the case before he leaves his position as Commissioner later this year.

Full content: Bloomberg

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