EU still undecided over Google allegations

06/12/2012

The EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia says he is still investigating allegations made against Google that it manipulated search results in order to promote its own subsidiary companies and block competitors.

Mr Almunia could potentially fine the search engine operator up to £2.3 billion – about one tenth of the company's total revenue in 2011 – after complaints were made by Microsoft and other smaller companies, although he insists no decision has yet been reached.

An independent investigation into the matter is also being conducted by the US Fair Trade Commission (FTC), headed by Jon Leibowitz.

While Mr Almunia has not put a date on when the EU investigation is likely to be resolved, Mr Leibowitz has given assurances that the FTC will come to a decision before the new year.

The accusations relate to the unfair promotion of companies such as YouTube and other Google-affiliated websites, to the detriment of rivals who are then relegated.