Monopolist Google has had a good talking to from the European Commission, which declared Google has just weeks to come clean on accusations about abusing its dominance.
The EC’s competition policy chair, Joaquin Almunia, penned a letter to Google boss Eric Schmidt about the EC’s concerns. He and the EC are hoping ‘Ogle pulls its own nadgers out of the fire by resolving those concerns in the name of being a good sport.
The problem is, no amount of threats really bother Google too much: they tend to be fines, and Google has more money than sense.
Almunia said that restoring competition to the benefit of users at an early stage is preferable to length proceedings, although these “sometimes become indispensable to competition enforcement”. Almunia said Google has repeatedly told the EC that it is willing to have conversations about its concerns. “This is why I am giving Google an opportunity to offer remedies to address the concerns we have already identified,” Almunia said.
In particular, the EC is worried about Google promoting its own services in search way ahead of the competition. Readers will be familiar with this complaint.
Almunia promised that if Google cooperates and drafts a list of remedies, the EC will dedicate its staff to initiate discussions to “finalise a remedies package”.