The European Union was coming closer to settling
with Google over a long-standing anti-trust investigation, the bloc's
executive said Tuesday, urging the US internet giant to come forward
with new proposals.
"After meeting Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, today in Brussels, I have decided to continue with the process towards reaching an agreement," said EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia.
He said the two sides had "substantially reduced our differences regarding possible ways to address each of the four competition concerns expressed by the (European) Commission," since talks began in July.
Almunia wants Google to correct its behaviour as regards to: prioritizing its own links in search results; copying content from rivals; accompanying ads to search results; and prioritizing its own online ads business AdWords.
"On the basis of the progress made, I now expect Google to come forward with a detailed commitment text in January 2013," the commissioner said, adding that this would pave the way for an eventual settlement.
The EU executive started its probe into Google in November 2010.
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