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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Microsoft Cheered Google EC Agreement

Microsoft backed lobbyist group, the Initiative for a Competitive Marketplace (also known as ICOMP), has celebrated the agreement of the search engine to an EC framework to resolve its antitrust case. 

The outfit has declared that the decision to reach an agreement with the EC is effectively a tacit admission of Google’s guilt over abusing its dominance in the market. The search giant, currently accounting for 95% of the search market in the European Union, has been under investigation from the European Commission over its search and related services. The EC accused Google of unfairly ranking competitive websites.

The case in question has been lasting since 2010, and now seems to be edging towards a resolution, with the search giant agreeing to concessions as part of a settlement agreement.

In fact, the EC likes the cases where they reach a settlement instead of lashing out with fines. As such, it looks like Google wants to come to a resolution by agreeing a framework for a settlement. Unsurprisingly, this turn of events has been warmly welcomed by ICOMP – an outfit which, at least originally, enjoyed financial support by Microsoft. The latter, in its turn, is known for providing main search rival to Google’s own services – Bing.

ICOMP representatives explained that the agreement by Google was an important acknowledgement of its market power and unauthorized anti-competitive behavior. They also added they were confident the Europe would clamp down on the search giant as part of the settlement, pointing at Google’s history of deliberately impeding and obstructing official investigations. As such, they think, a lot of companies would continue to monitor the process very closely.

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