EC Commission obtains from Google comparable display of specialised search rivals

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on February 15, 2014

“The European Commission has obtained an improved commitments proposal from Google in the context of the ongoing antitrust investigation on online search and search advertising. In its proposal, Google has now accepted to guarantee that whenever it promotes its own specialised search services on its web page (e.g. for products, hotels, restaurants, etc.), the services of three rivals, selected through an objective method, will also be displayed in a way that is clearly visible to users and comparable to the way in which Google displays its own services (see also MEMO/14/87). This principle will apply not only for existing specialised search services, but also to changes in the presentation of those services and for future services.”

  • See also Opening a Path for Recovery: Competition in Financial Markets: Vice President of the European Commission responsible for Competition Policy - ”I hope that the decisions I’ve talked about today and the rest of our work in financial markets make it sufficiently clear that we will remain alert to keep the industry open, competitive, and transparent. We’ve all seen what can happen when things go wrong in the financial sector. Financial markets will remain a top enforcement priority for us…Google guaranteed that it will display the links of competitors in a way that is comparable to its own services. This will give users a real choice between different alternatives which, in turn, will encourage both Google and its rivals to innovate and improve.”
  • Google Europe Blog - Settlement with the European Commission. “Following three rounds of negotiations and significant concessions, we are glad to have now reached an agreement with the European Commission that addresses its competition concerns. Commissioner Almunia laid out the details of that settlement at a press conference last week, including:
    • Changes to our AdSense terms to make it even easier for publishers to place ads on their sites from multiple providers;
    • Changes to our AdWords API terms to make it even easier for software providers to build tools for advertisers to manage campaigns across platforms;
    • New rules regarding how we will use website content in vertical search services; and
    • Changes to our UI that will give rival services significant prominence (and valuable screen space) on our search results pages. You can see what this looks like here.”

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