EU gives Google a month to address antitrust probe

The European Commission has kindly asked Google to present plans to address the EU antitrust probe by early July. The commission opened the investigation last November, but it does not appear to be in a rush to get it over with.

Speaking at a conference in Switzerland, Euro competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia said the EC expects Google to give “concrete signs” of possible ways of resolving the probe by early July, Reuters reports.

“I want to give the company the opportunity to offer remedy proposals that would avoid lengthy proceedings,” Almunia said. “By early July, I expect to receive from Google concrete signs of their willingness to explore this route.”

In late May Almunia fired off an email outlining several concerns about Google’s business practices. He argued that an 18-month investigation showed that Google might have favored its own search engine over rivals. However, Google quickly responded by saying it was not in violation of EU regulations.

In case Google fails to deliver satisfactory proposals, Almunia warned that the European Commission would take formal proceedings against Google through a “statement of objections,” which sounds like a veiled threat in Eurospeak.

“I strongly believe that users and competitors would greatly benefit from a quick resolution of the case,” he said. However, it has taken the commission more than six months to formally ask Google what it actually plans to do about the probe, yet it is calling for a “quick” resolution to the case.