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Google Ready to Change Search Results in EU Settlement

April 13, 2013
google, EU Settlement

Brussels (dpa) - Internet giant Google is ready to change the way it displays online search results as part of a settlement with European Union authorities, the Financial Times reported Saturday.

The settlement would allow Google to avoid a fine, which could theoretically equal up to 10 percent of its global turnover.

The EU's executive, the European Commission, has been probing Google practices since November 2010, after competitors - including Microsoft - complained about the US company's dominance in the internet search engine market.

Google is now willing to display "prominent links to rival search engines" in its search results, as well as "clearer signposts for its own in-house services," the Financial Times wrote, quoting several people familiar with the proposed settlement.

The agreement would be legally binding for five years, with a trustee checking that Google is complying, the newspaper said.

Earlier this year, Google had also reached a settlement with US regulators who had concerns that the company unfairly skewed its search results. It pledged to change some business practices, but the agreement with the EU would go further, the Financial Times said.

The complainants in the EU case now have the right to weigh in on the deal before it is finalized.

But Google also faces headwinds on another front: the alliance this week filed a new complaint with the commission alleging that the company has an "anti-competitive strategy to dominate the mobile marketplace" with its Android smartphone operating system.

Google has more than 32,000 employees and annual revenues of nearly 38 billion dollars.

For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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