updated 02:38 pm EST, Fri January 4, 2013
EU sees no direct implications for case from FTC settlement
The recent decision by the United States' Federal Trade Commission to close its antitrust probe of Google's business practices will not sway European regulators, who are also investigating the search industry leader's dealings. Executives at the European Commission, the body investigating Google, say they've taken note of the FTC's decision but don't see any direct implications for their own investigation and discussions with Google.
The European Commission's investigation of Google's search operations has gone on for the past two years, with the Commission receiving complaints from competitors that Google's search results are unfairly biased to promote its own services over those offered by other companies. The Commission has previously threatened the search giant with antitrust fines over its results, and Google last year offered to settle with regulators, though Google's settlement offer proved unsatisfactory.
Reporting on the Commission's statement, Reuters notes that, on December 18, the Commission gave Google a month to develop detailed proposals to address the EU's concerns. A failure to address complaints, in combination with a guilty verdict from the Commission, could result in a fine of up to 10 percent of Google's revenue, or $4 billion.