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Google Submits Compliance Plans For EU Antitrust Order

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Google sends antitrust regulators its proposed fixes to compile with shopping results antitrust order

Google has submitted its proposals to European antitrust regulators on how it intends to comply with the European Commission’s (EC) ruling about its shopping search service.

It comes after Alphabet’s Google unit was slapped with a record 2.4 billion euro ($2.9 billion) fine in June for abusing its monopoly on Internet searches within the European Union.

The massive fine was the culmination of seven years of investigation by the EC, following  complaints by rivals including Microsoft, TripAdvisor, Nokia and Expedia.

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Midnight Deadline

In June the EC had ruled that Google had broken EU law on competition by exploiting its search engine results to promote its own shopping service in a a fashion that was to the detriment of other price comparison sites.

But now EU regulators confirmed on Tuesday that Google has submitted details of how it plans to stop favouring its shopping service. It had until midnight on Tuesday to submit its proposals.

The EC has ordered Google to stop its anti-competitive behaviour by 28 September, or risk penalty payments of as much as 5 percent of Alphabet’s average daily worldwide turnover.

“Google will continue to be under an obligation to keep the Commission informed of its actions by submitting periodic reports,” a spokesman for the EU executive was quoted as saying by Reuters, after saying the proposal had been received.

Various lobbying groups have urged European regulators to make public Google’s proposals.

“These affect everyone in the online and mobile worlds, so they must be made public for evaluation,” ICOMP head Michael Weber was quoted as saying.

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Android Investigation

Google’s decision to compile with European demands comes after its recent financial results were badly dented by the EC fine.

And Google’s problems don’t stop there, as it is also facing antitrust charges over Android, ever since rivals including FairSearch, Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle filed their initial complaints back in 2013.

Last October EU antitrust regulators ordered Google to stop paying Android handset makers to install Google search and software on their devices, and warned the search giant of a potentially large fine That came after the EC formally issued an antitrust complaint in April 2016, against what it perceived to be Google’s abuse of the dominance of the Android mobile operating system.

Specifically, the European Commission has been unhappy that Google has been providing payments and discounts to manufacturers in exchange for pre-installing Google Play Store along with Google Search.

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