COMPETITION : ALMUNIA ISSUES ULTIMATUM TO GOOGLE.

Position:Joaquin Almunia
 
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The European Commission is running out of patience with Google. After rejecting, in late 2013, the firm's proposals meant to address concerns about abuse of dominant position on the internet search market, it issued an "ultimatum" to the Mountain View-based firm, on 15 January.

"I am awaiting Google's reaction to my public statements and to the private conversations I have had with this group explaining that I was not satisfied with these proposals," declared Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, speaking at a press conference. "We need more, and not next year, but in the coming weeks. I have not received an answer yet."

Google is in the executive's cross-hairs due to its practices on the European internet search market. The Commission opened an investigation on 30 November 2010 because of its concerns about abuse of dominant position that could affect users' choices on the internet and cause discrimination against Google's competitors.

The incriminated practices are: the preferential treatment of Google's vertical search services specialised in a specific area (travel or restaurants); the copying of content from competing vertical search services, such as users' comments, without their consent; exclusivity agreements with advertisers; and the impossibility for advertisers to run search advertising campaigns on rival advertising platforms (4427). All these practices appear to have helped establish Google's dominance over its competitors.

PROPOSALS NOT GOOD ENOUGH

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