Google has been floundering in hot water over anti-trust allegations in the European Union (EU). While EU has been putting pressure on the company for a while now, it has given Google one last chance to provide more concessions regarding the company's supposed anti-trust practices in the online search industry.
While Google could very well take the offensive and fight a slow and tedious legal battle against the EU, this course of action could take a whole lot of time and money. Google may need to take advantage of the EU warning soon or face the full wrath of Europe's anti-trust litigation procedures. This last ditch attempt to squeeze concessions out of Google are covered in an Article 9 procedure, which could give Google a way out of the conundrum.
Google's tussle with EU started way back in 2010 when EU anti-trust watchdogs started investigating the company for its unrivaled and dominant position in the online search. In fact, Google accounts for around 90 percent of all Internet searches in Europe which, by most definitions, counts as a monopoly. The company has already offered a number of proposals to soften the blow. However, the company's rivals in the search industry have starting crying out that the concessions were far from enough. Moreover, adapting to Google's proposals could actually cost its rivals a lot of money, further cementing the search giant's top position in the region.
Joaqin Almunia, the EU's top competition watchdog, has already stated that he is waiting for the company to respond. "We need more and we need more not during the next year, we need more during the next weeks," said Almunia at a press conference.
Google's failure to address the EU's demands could mean massive fines for the company. In fact, the EU may demand up to 10 percent of Google's global annual turnover as fine, for the years covered by the anti-trust allegations. The total fine would then amount to around $5 billion. The issue has been dragging on for years now and while the last warning shot has been issued, no clear end is in sight as of the moment.