Google proposes European search overhaul to calm legal fears

Google proposes EU search engine overhaul
Google+ Local is one service that might be getting a change-up

Updated: The European Commission has released an update on the story, stating that it has asked Google's search rivals to feedback on the company's proposed changes to how it displays its specialised search results.

Google is offering to promote content from its rivals, including Bing and Yahoo. You can read the release in its entirety here.

Original story from April 15 below....

Google is looking to avoid a hefty legal bill resulting from its EU dispute, with sources claiming that officials are considering an offer by Mountain View to label its search results.

The whole antitrust ordeal between Google and the EU has been dragging on for around three years, with rivals accusing the company of promoting its own services in its search results over competitors.

But Google is now looking to play nice, say sources to the The Wall Street Journal.

Google's proposed overhaul will mean that the European version of its search engine will have a new look, though it will maintain its signature look elsewhere around the world.

The new changes partly involve the way Google links to its own specialised sites on its search engine, Google News and Google+ Local. Under the proposed changes, Google will now include at least 3 links to rival specialised sites in its results, including services such as Microsoft Bing.

But this isn't the end of the line

If it's all okayed, Google will be monitored for five years to make sure it plays by the rules. Google Shopping and Google Flight Search won't see the same changes though, as competitors will continue to pay to be listed.

However, we're hearing that Microsoft, which also recently took a swing at Google over similar issues with Android, is already kicking up a fuss about the changes.

"If what has been proposed is labelling or a modified form of labelling, frankly that's a non-starter," ICOMP's lawyer David Wood told Bloomberg, adding that Google's changes would need to be global to be truly effective.

Them sounds like fighting words to us.

Via SlashGear

Hugh Langley

Hugh Langley is the ex-News Editor of TechRadar. He had written for many magazines and websites including Business Insider, The Telegraph, IGN, Gizmodo, Entrepreneur Magazine, WIRED (UK), TrustedReviews, Business Insider Australia, Business Insider India, Business Insider Singapore, Wareable, The Ambient and more.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider covering Google and Alphabet, and has the unfortunate distinction of accidentally linking the TechRadar homepage to a rival publication.