Google Agrees to Modify Web Search Results in Europe
Published on: 5th Feb 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
Google has agreed to change how it displays some of its search results in Europe following an investigation by the European Commission.
Google has now accepted to guarantee that whenever it promotes its own specialised search services on its web page (e.g. for products, hotels, restaurants, etc.), the services of three rivals, selected through an objective method, will also be displayed in a way that is clearly visible to users and comparable to the way in which Google displays its own services.
Commission Vice President in charge of competition policy, Joaquín Almunia, said: "My mission is to protect competition to the benefit of consumers, not competitors. I believe that the new proposal obtained from Google after long and difficult talks can now address the Commission's concerns. Without preventing Google from improving its own services, it provides users with real choice between competing services presented in a comparable way; it is then up to them to choose the best alternative."
Google had already made significant concessions regarding the other concerns raised by the Commission.
Google will also remove restrictions on the ability for search advertising campaigns to be run on competing search advertising platforms.
An important aspect of the proposal is that Google's compliance with these commitments would be supervised by an independent monitoring trustee. The commitments would cover the European Economic Area (EEA) for 5 years.