Google resolving anti-trust differences with EU watchdog

EU regulators have surprised the tech press by saying that they like what Google is offering them to avoid a huge anti-trust lawsuit.

Those involved in the “behind closed doors” negotiations had been saying that the EU had rejected what Google had offered and fighting talk was starting to be leaked to the media.

However it turns out that Google has come back with a second proposal which the Commission likes.

EU competition policy spokesman Antoine Colombani told Reuters he could confirm he had “reached a good level of understanding with Google” and there will soon be discussions at the technical level. He hoped this process will lead to remedies addressing the EU concerns.

These proposals will form the basis of discussions before the Commission makes a final decision whether to accept them.

The sticking point was whether the EU could get Google to widen the agreement to cover its moves into hardware.

Initially they said no, and now they have revised initial proposals to cover computers, tablets and mobile devices.

The Commission is not spilling the beans on what Google had proposed.

If Google pulls the negotiations off, it could avoid the kind of lengthy battle that plagued Microsoft not have to pay a billion or two euros in fines.

It also has to run another gauntlet in the US where anti-competition regulators have similar concerns. But in most other anti-trust cases it has been the Europeans who have been the hardest to satisfy, so it is likely that what ever is agreed here will be rubber stamped by the US regulators.