Search giant Google is making another attempt to resolve a three-year old case with the European Union for alleged antitrust violations. The EU, along with many of Google's competitors, claim that the company has too much control of the search market and therefore should actively work to allow other companies to gain footholds.
The latest proposal from Google was acknowledged by Joaquín Almunia, who heads up the EU's competition sector. Almunia has been trying to end the entire dispute since 2010 but after proposals from Google were criticized by competitors, the case has stayed open.
Various Google competitors agree with the EU that the search giant has been abusing its control over the market. The EU claims that Google has been favoring its products and services leading to an unfair advantage in the industry.
Google previously stated that it would be changing the way it included promoted links and listings in search results. To do so, Google would make the identity of the advertiser clear as well as let a user know if he is seeing a promoted link rather than an organic one.
In April, 17 companies said they would look over Google's proposal and determine whether or not it would be sufficient. However, most of those companies came to the conclusion that, if anything, Google's adjusted listings would help and not hurt the search giant.
The EU Is Tough
Compared to the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department in the United States, the EU is tough on American technology companies in most lawsuits. The Google antitrust suit is just one of many examples of the EU aggressively pursuing technology companies to get them to change their business practices.
Samsung is currently fighting the EU as well. The EU has accused Samsung of abusing essential patents in order to attack Apple. This lawsuit came about after Samsung tried to remove Apple products from the European market and only had the standard-essential patent claims to back its position up.
According to Almunia, Samsung is slowly but surely zeroing in on a settlement, but more adjustments are still necessary before that happens.
If Samsung is unable to reach a resolution with the EU, it could end up facing a fine equal to 10 percent of its 2012 revenue, which would be $18.3 billion. Since Samsung is obviously not a company that can just throw away billions of dollars, it should come to a resolution before the end of the year, if all goes well.
As a result of the antitrust case, Samsung has dropped all of its injunction claims against Apple and the case will likely send a message to other technology companies to do the same.