updated 10:58 pm EDT, Thu July 19, 2012
Talks said to be on 'knife edge'
European Union antitrust regulators have reportedly demanded significant changes to Google's mobile services to avoid potential punishments for anti-competitive practices. The company is said to be in talks with EU competition commissioner Joaquín Almunia over a potential settlement to avoid penalties, however a Financial Times report suggests the negotiations may be on the "knife edge."
The Commission is said to have asked companies that submitted complaints against Google to provide non-confidential versions of the grievances. The move is a necessary formality as regulators prepare for formal proceedings, though it remains unclear if the regulators will serve the "statement of objections."
Almunia reportedly waited until the last stage of negotiation to add demands for changes to mobile services, as the initial discussions were said to be limited to Google features designed for desktop browsers. Competitors have cried foul over Google's search results, claiming that the dominant company prioritizes its own products and services above those of other companies.
Although Google is believed to have amended its settlement proposals throughout the negotiation process, which started in July, the latest reports suggest the European Commission will be ready to proceed with the objections within weeks. If the parties fail to agree on a settlement, Google could face billions in fines.
Aside from the unofficial reports, Google claims it is continuing to "work cooperatively" with the European Commission. The company also faces regulator scrutiny in the US and other regions.