Google antitrust review: Still waiting ...

Antitrust authorities in Europe and the United States are still mulling what to do with allegations involving the search giant Google.  And a recent meeting between U.S. and European Union officials apparently didn’t lead to any consensus on how to proceed.

EU competition chief Joaquin Almunia told reporters Wednesday that his agency is still talking with Google about ways to settle the issue, according to a Reuters report. And the New York Times reports that the Europeans are still focused on complaints that Google may be giving favored placement to its own products and services, rather than competing services, when it comes to showing search results.

U.S. officials have also been looking at that issue, but Bloomberg recently reported (citing unnamed sources, of course) that the Federal Trade Commission may not feel it has enough evidence to press that case. Instead, the FTC reportedly is still looking at some lesser issues, such as whether Google has unfairly borrowed content from rival Internet services, or whether it has unfairly pressured Android gadget makers about using software Google doesn’t like.

Some antitrust experts have said it would be most logical for European and U.S. officials to take a consistent stance on Google. But although FTC chairman Jon Liebowitz reportedly met with Almunia in Brussels earlier this week, the two did not announce any coordinated positions.

Google has denied wrongdoing, and CEO Larry Page reportedly met with the FTC last week. Liebowitz has been saying he wants to wrap things up before the end of the year. But the picture isn’t any clearer so far.

Brandon Bailey Brandon Bailey (350 Posts)

Brandon Bailey covers Google, Facebook and Yahoo for the San Jose Mercury News, reporting on the business and culture of the Internet.