Google will have to “offer remedies” to the European Commission (EC) following an investigation into whether its own services are given higher priority within search results.
The EC launched an anti-trust investigation into Google in November 2010 following allegations that the search giant had “abused its dominant market position”.
Joaquín Almunia, vice president of the European Commission responsible for Competition Policy, said: “Google has repeatedly expressed to me its willingness to discuss any concerns that the Commission might have without having to engage in adversarial proceedings.
“This is why I am today giving Google an opportunity to offer remedies to address the concerns we have already identified.”
Almunia outlined four key issues Google must address including its vertical search services, the way it copies content from competing vertical search services, agreements between Google and partners on the websites of which Google delivers search advertisements and restrictions that Google puts to the portability of online search advertising campaigns from its platform AdWords to the platforms of competitors.
Alumnia said: “I have just sent a letter to Eric Schmidt setting out these four points. In this letter, I offer Google the possibility to come up in a matter of weeks with first proposals of remedies to address each of these points.”