Google makes new settlement offer to EU

|By:, SA News Editor

EC antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia says Google (GOOG +0.8%) submitted a new proposal last week to resolve the EU's 3-year-old antitrust probe into the search giant's promotion of complementary Google services within search results.

Almunia strikes a diplomatic tone, but doesn't suggest he expects a deal to be announced quickly. “If we are satisfied with the new proposals, we can advance toward an agreed solution in the coming months."

Prodded by the complaints of Google rivals, the EU has taken a harder line on Google than the FTC, which settled with the company in January and (though obtaining a few concessions) asserted the integration of complementary services "could be plausibly justified as innovations that improved Google’s product."

In July, Almunia rejected a Google proposal to distinctly label its own complementary services within results, and to show links to rival services.

The EU is also investigating Google's exclusivity deals with Android OEMs for the bundling of its mobile apps/services. Such bundling is pivotal to Google's Android monetization strategy.