Google talks continuing, no antitrust decision yet: EU's Almunia

Wed Dec 5, 2012 9:26am EST
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By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators have not yet made a decision in their case against Google and are still talking to the Internet search firm to resolve complaints that it used its clout to block rivals, the EU's competition chief said.

The world's most popular search engine offered concessions to the European Commission in July to try to head off a possible fine of up to $4 billion or 10 percent of its 2011 revenues if the regulators find Google breached the rules.

The EU executive Commission is examining the proposals before deciding whether to accept them or demand more.

"We are in the process of conversation with Google to try to reach a settlement, but we are not there yet," EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told a news conference on Wednesday.

Complainants against Google include Microsoft and smaller rivals in Britain, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the United States.


Almunia also said a market test of concessions proposed by U.S.-based UPS last Friday to allay regulatory worries over its proposed takeover of Dutch peer TNT showed competitors and third parties were not satisfied with the offer.

"We have come back to the parties, informing them of some of our concerns, given the result of the market test. They are in conversation with the case team, I am following very, very closely this conversation," he said.   Continued...

European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia gestures during a news conference at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels December 5, 2012. REUTERS/Laurent Dubrule