Google has offered up additional concessions in an effort to end a three-year investigation surrounding complaints they blocked competitors like Microsoft in web search results and avoid a $5 billion fine. EU Commission spokesperson Jonathan Todd said they have received a proposal from the search giant and are in the process of assessing it.
The offer comes a couple of months after Europe’s antitrust regulator asked Google to take further measures to ease concerns over the incident. Google spokesperson Al Verney said the proposal addresses their four areas of concern as they continue to work with the Commission to settle the case.
FairSearch, a lobbying group that represents Microsoft, Expedia, Foundem and Twenga (all complainants in the case), believes the Commission needs to seek feedback from those affected by the incident. FairSearch lawyer Thomas Vinje said given the failure of Google to make a serious effort the first time around, they believe it is necessary that customers and competitors be consulted in a full, second market test.
Earlier this year, Google offered to mark out its services from rival products in Internet search results and even proposed to offer links to at least three competing search engines in an effort to make it easier for advertisers to move their ad campaigns to rival search providers. Rivals, however, feel the offers on the table thus far have been inadequate and would only help the search giant retain its dominance in the market.