Europe to Demand Further Search Concessions From Google

google-eu-antitrustThe European Commission (EC) has revealed that it is likely to reject Google’s proposed search changes.

European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia addressed the European parliament yesterday and said that Google’s proposed changes to its search aren’t good enough, and that it’s unlikely to signal an end to the EC’s ongoing probe into the firm, Reuters reported.

He said that the EC will ask Google to offer more concessions once it has received feedback from the company’s rivals.

“After, we will analyze the responses received, we will probably ask Google, 100 percent, you should improve your proposals,” he was quoted as saying.

Google revealed its proposed changes to its search in April, in a bid to end the EC’s ongoing probe against its alleged anticompetitive search practices. These changes included displaying links to three rival specialized search services, separating promoted links from search results, and offering all websites the option to opt-out from making their content available in Google’s specialized search services.

Following Google’s proposal, the EC handed the changes to Google’s rivals including Microsoft to discuss whether the changes should be accepted. If Almunia’s comments are anything to go by, it sounds like Microsoft isn’t satisfied with Google’s proposals.

“We believe our proposal to the European Commission addresses the four concerns that were raised,” said a Google spokesman. “We continue to work with the Commission to settle this case.”

Almunia has also been quoted as saying that the EC doesn’t yet know whether it will launch an investigation into Google’s Android operating system, following complaints from Fairsearch Europe, a body consisting of companies like Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle.

The group claims that Google is using Android as a way to promote its own services over its competitors’ services.

Schmidt ‘Perplexed’ by UK Tax Debate

Meanwhile in the UK, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has said he is “perplexed” by the ongoing uproar around the firm’s tax payments

Between 2006 and 2011, Google’s UK revenues were £11.9 billion. The company paid only £10 million in UK corporate taxes.

Schmidt once again said the firm is operating within the law.

“What we are doing is legal,” Schmidt said during a talk on BBC Radio 4 on Monday. “I’m rather perplexed by this debate, which has been going in the UK for some time, because I view taxes as not optional. I view that you should pay the taxes that are legally required. It’s not a debate. You pay the taxes.

“If the British system changes the tax laws, then we will comply. If the taxes go up, we will pay more, if they go down, we will pay less. That is a political decision for the democracy that is the United Kingdom.”

This article was originally published on the Inquirer.

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