Google agrees to give equal prominence to rivals' services to settle EU antitrust case
Google will make significant changes to the way it operates in Europe, it said Wednesday
IDG News Service - Google has agreed to give comparable display to specialized search services that rival its own, in order to settle a European Union antitrust case, the European Commission said Wednesday.
Google has been under investigation by the European Commission since November 2010 after competitors accused directing users to its own services by reducing the visibility of competing websites and services in search results.
"It is not our job to interfere with Google's algorithm," said Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia on Wednesday. "Our job is to allow competitors to compete fairly."
Google's new commitment improves on the previous offer the company had made to the Commission, particularly in the area of vertical search, Almunia said.
The main change is the visibility of rivals in search results.
Images associated with rival links will be larger and more prominent. The option to 'hide' or switch off rival links has also been removed. However the structure of the proposals remains the same, he said.
Google's General Counsel, Kent Walker, said in statement: "We will be making significant changes to the way Google operates in Europe. We have been working with the European Commission to address issues they raised and look forward to resolving this matter."
Almunia will send the 18 complainants letters outlining how he plans to settle the case. "We will explain why some complaints were partially rejected," he said. The complainants will be given a chance to comment and their responses analyzed before the agreement is formally adopted by the Commission and becomes legally binding.
Google was also accused of content-scraping and imposing contractual restrictions that prevent advertisers from moving their online campaigns to rival search engines. The company has already pledged to stop these practices.
Rivals were quick to criticize the Commissioner's statement, saying that the proposals do nothing to tackle Google's dominant market position. "The position of Google is dominant, yes," said Almunia.
"But that was not what the investigation was about. It is dominant A because of its ability to innovate and provide services that users want. What we are dealing with here is abuse of this position," he said.
- Chrome users attack Google for zapping unsanctioned Windows add-ons
- Google postpones add-on 'kill switch' for Chrome on Windows
- Google yanks option to restore Chrome's old-style new tab page, riles users all over again
- Google's 3D tech could be boon to Glass, robots and virtual reality
- Google bots are coming!
- Antitrust deal leaves Google unscathed
- Google agrees to give equal prominence to rivals' services to settle EU antitrust case
- Lenovo-Moto deal's impact on Apple? Zip
- With Motorola sold, Google can focus on robots, Glass and smart homes
- Google is developing a smart contact lens
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- Piecing Together the Business Intelligence Puzzle Business intelligence (BI) technology collects and analyzes company data, delivering relevant information to corporate decision-makers in an effort to produce favorable outcomes.
- Harness IT -- An Introduction to Business Intelligence Solutions Learn the key selection criteria required to provide your organization with the capability to address structured data, unstructured data and mobile demands so...
- Business Intelligence Shows its Smarts Today's Business Intelligence (BI) tools provide a new way to think about data with self-service capabilities and user-friendly analytics that can be used...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- Testimonial: Cystic Fibrosis Trust Peter Hawkins, the Head of IT for Cystic Fibrosis Trust, discusses the role CommVault's Simpana software platform plays in improving the company's information... All Data Center White Papers | Webcasts