EU will pursue Google antitrust probe, despite US ruling

The European Commission says it will continue to investigate Google for unfairly manipulating search results.

BRUSSELS — A decision by U.S. regulators to end a probe into whether Google Inc. hurt rivals by manipulating Internet searches will not affect the European Union's examination of the company.

"We have taken note of the Federal Trade Commission decision, but we don't see that it has any direct implications for our investigation, for our discussions with Google, which are ongoing," said Michael Jennings, a spokesman for the European Commission.

RELATED: FTC settles Google antitrust investigation

U.S. regulators ended their investigation Thursday into the giant Internet company, which runs the world's most popular search engine.

Other Internet companies, including Microsoft Corp., had complained about Google tweaking its search results to give prominence to its own products. But the FTC said there was not enough evidence to pursue a big search-bias case. (Disclosure: Microsoft publishes MSN News.)

The European Commission has for the past two years been investigating complaints against Google, including claims that it unfairly favored its own services in its search results.

Google presented informal settlement proposals to the commission in July. On Dec. 18 the commission gave the company a month to come up with detailed proposals to resolve the investigation.

If it fails to address the complaints and is found guilty, Google could eventually be fined up to 10 percent of its revenue — as much as $4 billion.

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