EU regulators say Google must improve its antitrust concession offer (updated)

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EU regulators say Google must improve its antitrust concession offer (updated)

The European Union's antitrust chief, Joaquin Almunia, told a news conference today that the commission had deemed Google's recent concession offer insufficient. According to a Reuters report, Almunia has written a letter directly to Eric Schmidt demanding that the company "present better proposals," following the antitrust inquiry into Google's search and page ranking behavior. "After an analysis of the market test that was concluded on June 27, I concluded that the proposals that Google sent to us are not enough to overcome our concerns."

These changes, which would be enacted in the next five years, included more labelling of links that promote Googles own search services (like shopping), along the lines of showing that they are promoted placements. There would also be more graphical separation of the above links -- again, like how you see promoted ads in the search results page. The company would also offer the ability for rival search sites to tag their results so that Google would be unable to improve its own search offering by indexing those pages. Given other recent issues between Google and some European countries, the proposals also touched on offering a way for publishers to control exactly what part of their content is used in Google News.

The search giant's proposals were handed to the European Commission back in April, following its three-year investigation, with the regulator involving both Google's rivals and third parties in its decision-making process. We've reached out to Mountain View for comment and will tell you more when we hear it, and you can check out some of those rejected proposals at the More Coverage link.

Update: Google spokesman Al Verney added that the company would continue to work with the EU on the matter. "Our proposal to the European Commission clearly addresses the four areas of concern."

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