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Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Europe Asks For More Concessions from Google

European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia on Wednesday said he wants Google to come up with more concessions within weeks in order to avoid formal charges in an investigation into alleged anti-competitive behaviour.

"I am waiting for the reaction from Google. Unfortunately after the second round of proposals, I am not satisfied - we need more. And we need more, not in the next year, but in the next few weeks," Almunia said during a news conference at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels January 15, 2014.

Google has been under investigation by the European Commission since November 2010, after rivals accused the search giant of reducing the visibility of competing websites and services in Google search.

European regulators did not fine Google yat, but allowed the company under investigation to present proposals to rectify possible violations.

Google came up with proposals but they were rejected. The Internet giant submitted revised proposals in October but Google' rivals found them lacking.

Google could face a fine as high as the 10 percent of its annual global revenue.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has already investigated Google in a similar case and in January decided not to file charges.

In a seperate case in France, Google has appealed against the €150,000 (US$205,000) fine imposed by the French privacy watchdog.

Earlier this month, the French National Commission on Computing and Liberty (CNIL) fined Google for introducing new privacy policies breaching French data protection laws. It also ordered Google to post the decision against it on the homepage of google.fr within eight days of receiving formal notification of the ruling, and to keep the post up for 48 hours.

Google also faces fines against its revised privacy policy in other European countries.

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