Though this wouldn’t be the first time we thought so, Google and the EU are reportedly very close to finally settling the big antitrust probe that’s been going on for about three years.
Of course, this isn’t official yet, but Reuters is reporting, citing multiple sources including an EU official, that Google has offered a “much better” proposal, and that a deal is expected “in the next few days or in a couple of weeks at the latest.”
Earlier this month, it was reported that the EU had given Google “weeks” to offer up new concessions, and it would appear that Google has complied, as it looks to avoid a possible $5 billion fine (much larger than some of the other fines the company has had to pay in recent memory).
Last month, Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said the ball was in Google’s court, and that its most recent proposals were not acceptable (despite calling them improvements in the past). They didn’t satisfy Google’s competitors, and Almunia called on Google to go further.
Google had already proposed to give links to rival sites “much more real estate and visibility,” including logos with more prominent links and dynamic text providing more info about their sites. It’s going to be interesting to see just how far Google is going to bend.