Google to change search results after European Union probe

April 25, 2013 at 3:33 PM
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BRUSSELS, April 25 (UPI) -- Google says it has agreed to change the way it presents search results in the wake of a European investigation of whether it unfairly promoted its own services.

The search giant said it would more clearly label results from its own services like YouTube, Google Maps and its other sites, and would display some search results from competitors in close proximity to its own services, the BBC reported Thursday.

EU regulators have suggested the concessions be tested for a month and if the European Commission accepts them as sufficient to meet its concerns, they will become legally binding for the next five years.

"The objective of this process is to try to see if we can achieve a settled outcome in this antitrust investigation," commission spokesman Antoine Colombani said.

Google has agreed to clearly separate promoted links from other Web search results as well as displaying links to three rival European specialized search services "in a place that is clearly visible to users."

However, one lobbying group said the changes didn't go far enough.

"It is clear that mere labeling is not any kind of solution to the competition concerns that have been identified," the Microsoft-backed lobby group Initiative for a Competitive Marketplace said in a statement. "Google should implement the same ranking policy to all websites."

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