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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Google Resolved Anti-Trust Lawsuit with EU

The tech press was very surprised when European regulators announced they liked what the search giant has offered them in order to avoid a huge anti-trust lawsuit.

People who participated in the “behind closed doors” negotiations were saying that the European Union had rejected what the multinational company had offered. Later, the fighting talk has started to leak to the media.

Nevertheless, it turned out that the company has come back with another proposal that the Commission liked. Antoine Colombani, the EU competition policy spokesman, told the press he could confirm that he had reached a good level of understanding with the company. He also said that the discussions at the technical level would start soon. Colombani hoped the process will lead to remedies addressing the European concerns.

The proposals in question would form the basis of discussions before the European Commission makes a final decision whether to accept them or not. The sticking point was whether the European Union could get the search engine to widen the agreement in order to cover its moves into hardware.

Originally the EU said no, but now they seem to revise initial proposals to cover PCs, tablets and mobile devices. In case Google pulls the negotiations off, it might avoid the kind of lengthy battle which plagued Microsoft not have to pay billions of euros in penalties.

Google also has to run another gauntlet in the United States where anti-competition regulators voiced similar concerns. However, in most other anti-trust cases the Europeans were the hardest to satisfy. This means it is likely that whatever is agreed here will be rubber stamped by the American regulators.

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