Stock in News: EU- Google (NASDAQ GOOG) Battle Thickens

Technology Stocks News 19

After Google Inc (NASDAQ GOOG) had settled with European regulators over its search practices, European Commission members are now calling on the search giant to improve its settlement proposal or face more severe punishment.

After agreeing to a settlement in February, political leaders want to re-open negotiations amid pressure from powerful European interests. Joaquín Almunia, a member of the European Commission responsible for economic competition, had previously supported the settlement but is now asking Google Inc (NASDAQ GOOG) to come back to the table for a fourth time and give more.

If Google doesn’t make the required changes to its settlement offer, “the logical next step is to move to a statement of objections,” Almunia said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. Such a “statement of objections could lead to formal antitrust charges against the company, but Alumnia dismissed the potential to break up Google.

“The day I [hear] that the [EU] railways will accept unbundling, electricity companies will accept unbundling, and we will discuss [unbundling] with telecom operators and others…let’s discuss unbundling Google, but not before,” Alumnia said, referring to other European mega corporations and their tight grip on the markets in which they operate.

Google Inc (NASDAQ GOOG) News: EU Wants More from Google

As if to offer a stern warning, however, Almunia held out correlations between Google’s plight and that of Microsoft, which endured a lengthy investigation that resulted in almost $3 billion in fines. “Microsoft was investigated [for] 16 years, which is four times as much as the Google investigation has taken and there are more problems with Google than there were with Microsoft,” Almunia was quoted as saying.

European commission has been investigating allegations Google Inc (NASDAQ GOOG) manipulates its search results to favor its own products or listings over rivals. After announcing a deal on the issue in February were Google would avoid nearly $6 billion in fines, the U.S. search giant agreed to present the results of three competing firms by allowing them to bid on the position through an auction.

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Google Inc Financial News (NASDAQ GOOG)

After eschewing a move to break up Google, Almunia denied that the political pressure from European powers motivated his decision to re-open the settlement agreement. Rather, he claimed new evidence yet to be revealed that supported his call for re-negotiating the previously agreed upon settlement.

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