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EU: Google complainants lose again

 |  June 18, 2014

The European Commission has reportedly sent letters to various companies that have filed complaints against the proposed settlement between Google and competition regulators, revealing that part of the agreement is to establish an external antitrust monitor to oversee Google’s operations – a process Google itself will be a part of.

According to reports, the Commission sent a letter to Hot Maps, based in Germany, which was one of 19 complainants against the proposed settlement; in that letter, the Commission said the company failed to show how Google’s involvement in the process of choosing the monitor would “affect the adequacy of the proposed commitments.

”The proposed commitments provide that the Commission will have the discretion to approve or reject the proposed trustee candidates that will be preselected by Google,” the letter states. “It will therefore be the Commission, and not Google, that will ultimately decide on who will be appointed as monitoring trustee.”

The letter was reportedly penned by Director General Alexander Italianer on behalf of the Commission.

The external monitor, a concept similar to the court-appointed monitor chosen to oversee Apple’s operations in the US following eBook price-fixing, will be tasked with reporting any breaches of the settlement agreement made by Google. The monitor is set to serve the position for five years.

The settlement, announced by European Commissioner Joaquin Almunia to a flurry of opposition, even from some other Commissioners. But reports say Almunia is set on the agreement and is expected to officiate the settlement later this year.

Full content: The Register

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