As reported earlier, Google has made its full agreement with the EU publicly available.
The proposal should keep Google from getting fined as the result of a three-year antitrust investigation, and includes: changes to AdSense terms making it easier for publishers to place ads on their sties from multiple providers; changes to the AdWords API terms to make it easier for software providers to build tools for advertisers to manage campaigns across platforms; new rules regarding how Google will use website content in vertical search services; and changes to the Google UI that will give rival services significant prominence and “valuable screen space” in search results.
“In addition, our suggested changes have (unusually) been through two separate ‘market tests’ which enabled the Commission to hear directly from a number of our competitors, as well as third parties,” said Google Senior Vice-President and General Counsel Kent walker. “In response to their feedback, we made two rounds of significant further changes to our initial proposals. Today, to ensure that everyone understands the wide-ranging nature of this settlement, we are taking the (again unusual) step of publishing the full text of the agreement.”
The FairSearch coalition had been criticizing the potential settlement without the whole thing being made public. Now that it is public, FairSearch says:
We are examining the offer now, and will comment when we have reviewed it. We welcome Google’s unilateral decision to publish a non-confidential version of its commitments, but will continue to stress the importance of market testing to demonstrate the effectiveness of these commitments to restore competition to search.
To be continued…
Image via FairSearch