July 3, 2012- Google offered on Monday to settle antitrust charges after European Union regulators gave the search giant an ultimatum following an investigation into its business practices. The move by Google may save the company a large fine.
The Competition Commissioner of the EU, Joaquin Almunia set early July as a deadline for Google to resolve problems with over 12 of its rivals, including Microsoft, or be faced with formal charges.
A spokesman for Google, Al Verney announced that the company made a proposal to the EU Commission that it would address four areas the commission had as potential concerns. He said Google continued to work in a cooperative manner with the EU commission.
Antonie Colombani, the spokesman for Almunia confirmed that the commission had received a letter from Eric Schmidt the executive chairman of Google, on Monday, replying to the concerns made by Almunia. No details were given as to the content of the letter.
The investigation has been ongoing for over 18 months and four areas of the business practices of Google were concerning to regulators. Almunia stated in May that Google might have favored its search engine service over its rivals and might have copied both restaurant and travel reviews from other competing sites without getting permission beforehand.
He said also that the advertising deals for the company with other websites might have blocked Google’s competition, while contractual restrictions might prevent advertisers from changing their online campaigns to other search engines.