Google [corporate website] on Thursday formally offered concessions to the EU's competition authority [official website] for a possible settlement in the antitrust investigation against the company. The recent proposal [Reuters report] has revised the initial proposal that was submitted in January [NYT report]. The January proposal came after the EU's competition commissioner warned the company to change its business practices or be subject to antitrust charges. The investigation has been focused on whether the company unfairly used its dominance of the Internet search market to benefit its other services. The commission will now review the proposal and determine whether it will accept a settlement without fine.
In January the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) [official website] held that Google did not violate [JURIST report] antitrust or anticompetition laws. The claims in the case were similar to those currently pending in the EU: Google's practice of favoring its own services in search results, to the detriment of its competitors. Google has faced other numerous allegations regarding its business practices over the past several years internationally. In December an Italian court overturned [JURIST report] a conviction against Google executives for privacy violations. In November a federal judge approved [JURIST report] a $22.5 million fine against Google for privacy misrepresentations. In February of last year a federal judge dismissed [JURIST report] a challenge to Google's privacy changes by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) [advocacy website]. Earlier that month, a French court ruled [JURIST report] that Google Maps was practicing unfair competition.