Last week, the EU announced that it had obtained “an improved commitments proposal” from Google over the three-year antitrust probe into the company’s search business. In other words, the European Commission is finally satisfied with what Google is offering to do now, though it still said it would listen to feedback from complainants before the whole thing is officially finalized
Google has now come out, and offered a statement on its European policy blog. “Following three rounds of negotiations and significant concessions, we are glad to have now reached an agreement with the European Commission that addresses its competition concerns,” writes Kent Walker, Senior Vice-President and General Counsel.
The details include: 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.
The FairSearch coalition has been extremely critical of the whole thing, demanding to see the full agreement, and now Google has published it.
“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,” writes 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.”
“While this process has been challenging, we are pleased to have a resolution of these issues and look forward to a continued focus on providing new generations of great services for our users,” he adds.
You can see the full text of the agreement here. It’s nearly 100 pages.
I guess we’ll be hearing from FairSearch again soon.
Image via Google