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Under the deal, reached on Wednesday after weeks of last-ditch negotiations, Google has agreed to give comparable prominence in online search results to services offered by three rivals.
The European Commission said Google had now agreed to guarantee that whenever it promotes its own specialized services and products, such as for hotels, restaurants or shopping, the services of three rivals would be displayed clearly and in a way that is "comparable" to how Google displays its own services.
So generic results are to be pushed further, further down. I've not the slightest doubt that this will end up in the courts, the original complainants are not going to accept this.
by which the search company will always display the services of 3 rivals in a way that’s comparable to how it displays its own.
MEP: Google's SECRET deal will cause crisis of trust for Europe
Google's secret backroom deal with the EU's competition chief can only worsen the crisis of trust in the European institutions, one MEP tells us. This week the Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia said he would advise the Commission to reject complaints made about Google's business practices, thus allowing the search giant to avoid a costly competition trial.
The bulk of the complaints (although not all of them) deal with Google's practice of inserting its own products and services high into its "organic" or "natural" search results, and demoting rivals.
In separate letters addressed to the Commission's Secretary-General and 27 of the 28 commissioners, John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog's Privacy Project director wrote:
"In addition to our deep concerns about the procedure that is being followed in apparent contradiction to Commission policy, we have strong objections to this third proposal from the Internet giant on its merits in so far as we have been able to determine the details of what Google is offering. At a minimum any remedy must insist that Google use an objective, nondiscriminatory mechanism to rank and display all search results – including links to Google products."