Google agrees to comply with EC antitrust order

Google is set to change its price comparision service in light of an anti trust decision made earlier this summer, a spokesperson for the European Commission (EC) has confirmed. The company has until September to rectify its practice, or else it will recieve daily fines. 

In June, Google was hit with a record €2.42 billion (£2.1 billion) fine after it emerged that it had been manipulating search results in order to promote its own shopping comparison service. The fine came after a a probe by the EC that had been investigating Google Shopping since late 2010.

Speaking to Tech Crunch, the spokesperson said that there are no plans to publicly disclose Google’s proposals to the EC.

“It is Google’s sole responsibility to ensure compliance with the Commission antitrust decision. The Commission’s role is to monitor Google’s compliance. In this context the Commission can confirm that, as required by the Commission decision, it has received information from Google on how the company intends to ensure compliance with the Commission decision by the set deadline. Furthermore, Google will continue to be under an obligation to keep the Commission informed of its actions by submitting periodic reports.

“The Commission decision requires Google to stop its illegal conduct within 90 days of the decision and refrain from any measure that has the same or an equivalent object or effect. In particular, the Commission decision sets out the principle that Google has to give equal treatmentto rival comparison shopping services and its own service.”

While Google’s decision to comply with the ruling has been warmly received, critics have said that the EC should publish its full findings (which the comission said it would in June) and that Google should publish its proposals. One such group is ICOMP, an ecommerce lobbying organisation made up of Google’s rivals. 

In a statement, group chairman Michael Weber said: “ICOMP calls for publication of the full commission decision and Google’s remedy proposals so that we and the public generally can compare the proposals (if any) with the Commission’s assessment of Google’s wrongdoing. These affect everyone in the online and mobile worlds, so they must be made public for evaluation.”

Google declined to comment on the situation. 

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