The European Commission is reportedly not accepting Google's latest proposal to settle the lengthy antitrust probe into the company's search business.
In October, commissioner Joaquin Almunia asked Google's competitors to review the concessions offered by the search giant, which included giving links to rival sites “much more real estate and visibility,” including rival sites’ logos with these links for 'even greater prominence,' and accompanying the links with dynamic text from rivals providing more info about their sites.
So what did the competitors think? Nope, not good enough.
The FairSearch coalition, which is made up of Google competitors, called the proposal ineffective and confusing to consumers. The group shared results from a survey it conducted with 2,500 people, finding that Google's proposal sends up to 40 times more traffic to its own links than its rivals, and produced "virtually no clicks for rivals," while "clicks for Google's links dropped dramtically after removing their preferential treatment."
He is quoted as saying, "The latest offer as submitted by Google in October ... the latest proposals are not acceptable in the sense that they are not proposals that can eliminate our concerns regarding competition."
He reportedly noted that there is time left before sanctions would be brought against Google, and that the ball is still in the company's court.
Apparently the main concern remains Google's treatment of vertical searches, and specifically shopping searches.
To be continued...