EU: Tech chief Kroes backs Google compromise

The head of the EU’s Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, is speaking out in support of competition chief Joaquin Almunia and his proposed settlement with Google, an offer highly criticized by consumer advocates and Google rivals for inadequately addressing the company’s market dominance.

In a letter sent by Almunia to his fellow Commissioners, which was leaked on Monday, the regulator urged the approval of the settlement with Google, which ahs been under investigation by the Commission since 2010, because additional complaints over other Google practices will likely lead to more competition crackdowns on the company.

Now, Digital Agenda Commissioner Kroes issued a statement Tuesday to support Almunia. A spokesperson for Kroes said “the longer the case remains open, the harder it is to have a wider discussion about the effects of the tech destruction on all policy and economy – the new Commission has a big job to get the digital disruption into a proper, wider frame.”

Earlier reports speculated that Almunia is looking to close the case with Google before he steps down from the position later this year; elections next year will bring a new round of authority to the European Commission.

Google was under investigation by the EU watchdog for complaints alleging the company unfairly displays links to its own services before rivals’ links. Among other concessions, Google has offered to display three competing links for every result that leads to a Google service.

Full content: PC World

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