A PYMNTS Company

EU: Almunia defends Google settlement delay

 |  September 14, 2014

European Commissioner Joaquin Almunia denied allegations that his recent decision to postpone a settlement with Google was to appease lobbyists.

According to reports, media quickly pounced on the EU’s competition chief for agreeing to delay a resolution to the case, which has dragged on for years. While the decision was applauded by consumer advocates and Google rivals – which had repeatedly challenged Almunia’s earlier agreement to settle – media suggested the decision to delay a deal was simply due to political lobbying.

But speaking at a conference Friday, Almunia insisted that the decision was made to force Google to offer stronger concessions if it wishes to avoid a fine.

Further, reports say the competition chief denied having ever set a deadline to close the case before his term ends later this year.

His successor, recently announced to be former Danish economy minister Margrethe Vestager, will take the position in November and inherit a slew of complex competition cases, including the conflict with Google.

Full content: Reuters

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.