It is a bold claim that Google is going to escape a fine from EC antitrust probe on its search engine/advertiser notice. If true, not having to fork out a single cent itself is and will be a big win for Google.
It is said that Google is willing to change its practice to alleviate EC’s concerns. Depends on how much Google has to modify, that might turn out another win for Google if the changes is relatively minor. I had been anticipating some changes since the probes began. Google is a company stuff by human, and human do make mistake. Not that I believe Google’s “Do no evil” slogan, but I do not think anything that Google did so far is deliberately designed to disadvantage its competitors unfairly.
I personally cannot see any evidence that the complain that Google favours its own result has any merit. So far, none if its competitors who initiated the complains come out with any evidence to back its allegations. I might also had swallowed Google’s PR where it says it is “open” with its data and extrapolate it to means it also offers its advertisers more information than other service. Nonetheless, I still believe it is right for the EC to scrutinize Google’s practice given its size and influence. The EC, compared to the US, had demonstrated that it is willing to explore preventing monopolistic abuse instead of cure it. I do believe this way of working has merit and is worth exploring.
I do believe once the settlement is made public, we will see that Google simply has to do minor adjustment to its practices. That is something that will disappoints those competitors behind this antitrust effort. If any, recent efforts to give Google more legal problems suggests the current antitrust probe has disappointed them. Those efforts basically recycled the same arguments in a different forum. If the probe had been going their way, why not let the EC concludes its prob first before firing the legal salvos as that would make it more likely to win the lawsuits.