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EU: Google lets rivals sell software to curb pro-Google search results

 |  October 12, 2014

The consortium of Google rivals, known as Focus on the User, which continues to champion against the search giant as the European Commission ponders the fate of its investigation into the company, has just released software that uses Google’s Chrome browser to curb Google-promoted search results.

According to reports, Focus on the User, made up of companies including Yelp and TripAdvisor, have just released the software, which works on Google’s browser, that uses Google’s algorithms to ensure more third-party competitors are included in top Google search results.

Of particular interest, say reports, is the fact that the software is available for download from Google’s Chrome store – something that could not happen unless Google approves of it.

In other words, Google could be helping its rivals make their case against the company.

Focus on the User has repeatedly appealed to the European Commission to impose stricter concessions on Google before it closes its investigation into the company. Google has been under probe for several years following allegations the company unfairly promotes its own services in its search results.

The Commission’s competition chief Joaquin Almunia recently revealed that the authorities will not accept Google’s latest settlement offer, a turnaround from Almunia’s earlier decision to accept the deal and close the case. Almunia’s predecessor, Margrethe Vestager, will now inherit the case when she comes into office November 1.

Google did not comment on the Focus on the User software.

Full content: CNet

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