Google submits settlement proposal in EU antitrust case, report says

Reports are still unconfirmed that the firm has settled with the European Commission

By Zach Miners, IDG News Service |  IT Management

Google has declined to confirm a report that it narrowly met its deadline for submitting a response to the European Commission over its antitrust concerns about the company.

The search firm had been in negotiations with European regulators as the deadline approached late Thursday in Europe to file its proposal for how to settle the dispute.

Google declined to discuss the timing or substance of any proposal it may have submitted. "We continue to work cooperatively with the European Commission," a spokesperson said.

But Google did submit its proposal after negotiations in Brussels went to the wire, just barely hitting a midnight deadline, according to the news site All Things D.

The proposal is similar to what Google has already agreed to in a case with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which involved sharing more information through its advertising APIs (application programming interfaces) and agreeing not to scrape Web content from rivals, according to the report, which cites unnamed sources.

There are some differences, however. The European agreement won't address patents and it will probably require better labeling in search, the report says.

The Commission case dates back to 2010, when rivals accused Google of fixing its search algorithm to direct users to its own services and decrease the visibility of competing websites and services.

Fourteen companies issued complaints against Google, including U.K.-based Foundem; Microsoft-owned German price-comparison site Ciao; Dutch football website Elfvoetbal; French companies Dealdujour.pro and Twenga; British online mapping company Streetmap; and online travel sites Expedia and TripAdvisor.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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