Google has offered to settle an antitrust probe from European Union regulators to avoid a hefty fine and major changes to how it operates its lucrative online search business.
Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, made the offer in a letter to Joaquín Almunia, the European competition commissioner. The European Commission conducted an 18-month-long investigation into Google.
The European Commission warned in May that Google may have abused its market dominance in Web search and could face formal charges for putting its competitors at a disadvantage. Almunia gave Google an early July deadline to resolve the concerns of its rivals, including Microsoft. The European Commission has not said when it would respond to Google’s letter.
“We have made a proposal to address the four areas the European Commission described as potential concerns,” Google said in an emailed statement. “We continue to work cooperatively with the Commission.”
A Google spokesman declined to provide details.
Google is also being investigated in the United States by the Federal Trade Commission.