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EU sees Google solution after summer - Almunia

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Fri, 22 Feb 2013 11:14 GMT
Author: Reuters
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By Foo Yun Chee

PARIS, Feb 22 (Reuters) - European Union regulators hope to resolve a two-year investigation into U.S. internet company Google after the summer.

The European Commission - the EU's executive arm - has been examining proposals put forward by Google to resolve complaints by more than a dozen companies, including Microsoft, that Google was using its market dominance to block competitors.

"We can reach an agreement after the summer break. We can envisage this as a possible deadline," EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told a conference on Friday.

He said the deadline was conditional on regulators and rivals agreeing to concessions presented by Google early this month. Neither Google nor the EU antitrust authority have detailed what those concessions are.

People familiar with the matter have previously told Reuters that Google offered to label its own services in search results to differentiate them from rival services, and also to impose fewer restrictions on advertisers.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission last month ended its own investigation without any significant action, handing Google a major victory.

EU regulators said Google may have favoured its own search services over those of rivals, copied travel and restaurant reviews from competing sites without permission, and placed restrictions on advertisers and advertising.

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