EU studies Google's bid to avoid anti-trust fine

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EU studies Google's bid to avoid anti-trust fine
EU anti-trust authorities said Friday they had received proposals from Internet giant Google aimed at ending a probe into its dominance of online search advertising platforms.

"We have received proposals from Google and have started analysing them," said a spokesman for European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia.

The EU launched its investigation of Google in November 2010 following a complaint by companies in several countries, including Ciao, which is owned by US software giant Microsoft.

EU competition authorities expressed concern following claims that Google search results for items such as travel reservations favoured its own services to the detriment of those offered by competitors.

Earlier this month the US Federal Trade Commission said it lacked a legal basis to bring a case against Google for allegedly abusing its dominance in Internet searches, but added that it had won commitments from the company to end the "most troubling" practices.

After significant progress in talks that nonetheless stalled in July, Google met a midnight Thursday deadline to avoid anti-trust charges and a possible fine of up to 10 percent of its sales.

Critics say that Google controls about 70 percent of the Internet search market, and the advertising that goes along with it.

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Further reading: EU, Google, Internet
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