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Google faces possible $5bn fine in Europe

business Updated: Jul 18, 2013 21:02 IST
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Google has so far emerged from its tangles with US antitrust authorities virtually unscathed. But in Europe, regulators said on Wednesday, Google will not have it as easy.

The European Commission formally said for the first time that Google’s proposal for addressing antitrust concerns was not enough and demanded that it come up with more far-reaching remedies or potentially face a fine of up to $5 billion (about Rs 29,655 crore).

It was a significant setback for Google, which in April struck a deal with the commission to settle its three-year antitrust investigation by making certain changes in the way it displays answers to search enquiries. But the deal was contingent on feedback from Google’s rivals. The commission determined that the proposal was inadequate and said the company needed to do more to address rivals’ concerns.

Joaquín Almunia, the European Union competition commissioner, said, “I concluded that the proposals that Google sent to us months ago are not enough to overcome our concerns.” A Google spokesman, Al Verney, said Wednesday that it would “continue to work” with the commission to settle the case.

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