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Google’s offer to settle European antitrust woes ‘not good enough’ for Microsoft and others

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Google recently offered a draft agreement with the European Commission to quell any sort of “predatory behaviour” that’s being alleged by several companies, including Microsoft. Now, it looks like Microsoft isn’t too happy with what’s being presented on the table.

Google offered a draft agreement that calls for revamping Google’s search results to include prominent links to rival search engines, including Microsoft’s Bing.com. Google has also proposed to make users aware when they are using Google’s own search services, to visible clarify that a user is using Google Search for restaurants, travel, finance, etc.

A lawyer for ICOMP, which includes Microsoft, is not too happy about this draft agreement. “If what has been proposed is labeling or a modified form of labeling, frankly that’s a non-starter. We haven’t seen the proposals and the commission has not explained them to us. We’re in the dark,” said David Wood, the lawyer for ICOMP which includes Microsoft.

If the European Commission approves the draft agreement, Microsoft and others will “try and be constructive.” However, the draft agreement does not specify too much. “But if it doesn’t clearly set out non-discrimination principles and the means to deal with the restoration of effective competition, plus effective enforcement and compliance, it’s very difficult to see how it can be satisfactory,” Wood added.

This issue with the European Commission is another hurdle for Google to overcome. Google already faces an issue with FairSearch dealing with an antitrust complaint against Google over the Android operating system. Fairsearch, a Microsoft-led European advocacy group, had filed a complaint to the European antitrust officials claiming that Google is using Android as a means of building advantages for key Google apps in a deceptive manner. The complaint claims Google is giving its own apps, such as YouTube and Gmail, preferences over alternatives.

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