EU Could Rule on Google Antitrust in March

Published on January 18, 2012
by John Paczkowski

It has been nearly two years since the European Commission first began examining Google’s dominance of search and the search advertising market. And soon the agency will decide what to do next: File a formal antitrust complaint against the company for abusing its dominant market position, or drop the case entirely.

Reuters reports that the EC will likely make that decision by March. “I will receive comments from the case team towards the end of the first quarter,” said EC antitrust commissioner Joaquin Almunia. “I do not expect anything sooner. Let us see.”

Let us see, indeed. There are rumblings that the EC is compiling a Statement of Objections detailing Google’s various alleged abuses of its market dominance and could drop it in CEO Larry Page’s lap sometime this spring.

Of course, Google is facing regulatory scrutiny in the United States as well. Last week, the Federal Trade Commission said it would expand its antitrust probe of the company to include its controversial “search, plus your world” feature, which introduces social content from the company’s Google+ service into users’ search results.

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