EU Satisfied With Google's Antitrust Compliance Proposal

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The antitrust division of the European Union is satisfied with its initial review of Google’s compliance proposal in regards to the historic anti-competitive fine the company received earlier this year, European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said on Tuesday. Ms. Vestager described the firm’s proposal as a step “in the right direction” but noted how the European Commission still isn’t done with its in-depth review of the filing which Google submitted last Tuesday.

The Mountain View, California-based tech giant was hit with a €2.4 billion ($2.9 billion) antitrust fine in June, with the EU’s antitrust watchdog concluding that the company promoted its shopping comparison service at a direct expense of competing alternatives, thus employing monopolistic practices. Apart from the aforementioned figure, Google was given a two-month deadline to submit a proposal on how it intends to cease its anti-competitive activities. The company now has less than one month to comply with this particular ruling and will presumably do so as soon as the European Commission confirms it’s satisfied with its proposal. In a hypothetical case that Google refuses to implement certain measures mandated by the political bloc, it could be sanctioned with daily fines amounting to up to five percent of its revenue.

Ms. Vestager said that the present review of Google’s proposal won’t impact the other two antitrust cases against the company which the EU is currently heading, investigating its potentially anti-competitive practices related to the Android operating system and AdSense advertising platform. Both of those investigations are expected to be officially concluded in the coming months and may lead to additional fines issued to the Alphabet-owned tech giant, some industry watchers claim. The recently finished case saw the European Commission conclude that Google was unfairly prioritizing its price comparison service and thus directly hurt its competitors like TripAdvisor, essentially abusing the dominance of its Internet search engine to gain an illegal advantage in another market segment. Google already expressed a strong disagreement with the verdict and suggested that it may appeal the decision in the near future, though the firm is still likely to comply with all of EU’s demands before possibly going through with fighting the sanctions it was hit with.