The search giant is close to settling an antitrust probe by the European Commission into how it treats competitors like Microsoft and Expedia in its search results, according to a report by Reuters. The investigation was opened in 2010 over concerns that Google was unfairly promoting its own products and services over those of its competitors in search results.
That’s good news for Google, considering the EU rejected the company’s last settlement proposal two weeks ago. At the time, European Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said that the company’s proposed settlement didn’t go far enough.
Now, it seems that both parties may have found a solution they can agree upon, with an unnamed EU official telling Reuters that this settlement is “much better” than the one rejected earlier this month.
According to the report, the settlement will include an agreement governing how Google will treat its competitors, and how it will use content from other companies in the future.
An unnamed official told Reuters that regulators won’t be asking for comments from the 125 rival companies, including Microsoft, who have offered their opinions on Google’s past proposals, saying that they’ve already laid out their arguments in prior rounds of comment.
Still, if they find the deal between the EU and Google is not satisfactory, the companies’ lobbying groups say they will challenge the settlement, meaning that it’s entirely possible this whole process will continue to drag on.