The European Commission [official website] on Monday announced a new concession proposal from Google [corporate website] in connection to an ongoing EU antitrust investigation of the company. Google faces [Reuters report] USD $5 billion in fines over accusations that the company's search engine is blocking competitors content and promoting Google services. Google formally offered concessions [text, PDF] to the European Commission for a possible settlement in April, but they were rejected by EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia [official profile] in July. In response to the proposal, FairSearch.org [advocacy group], a lobbying group comprised of numerous international companies including Microsoft and Expedia [corporate websites], has asked for the Commission to consult industry participants before reaching a final settlement.
Google has faced numerous other allegations regarding its business practices over the past several years. In January the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) [official website] held that Google did not violate [JURIST report] antitrust or anticompetition laws. The claims in the case were similar to those currently pending in the EUGoogle's practice of favoring its own services in search results, to the detriment of its competitors. In December an Italian court overturned [JURIST report] a conviction against Google executives for privacy violations. In November a US federal judge approved [JURIST report] a $22.5 million fine against Google for privacy misrepresentations.