April 25, 2013 - 16:42 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Google has agreed to alter its search results in the light of a European investigation into whether it unfairly promoted its own services, BBC News reported.
The firm said that it will more clearly label results from YouTube, Google Maps and its other sites. It also agreed to display some search results from its competitors in close proximity to its own services.
EU regulators are asking for feedback and have proposed that the concessions be tested for a month. If the European Commission accepts them, they will become legally binding for the next five years.
As part of the agreement, Google will clearly separate promoted links from other web search results as well as displaying links to three rival specialized search services "in a place that is clearly visible to users".
"The objective of this process is to try to see if we can achieve a settled outcome in this antitrust investigation," said Commission spokesman Antoine Colombani.
But the Microsoft-backed lobby group Initiative for a Competitive Marketplace (Icomp) was not convinced the changes went far enough.
"It is clear that mere labelling is not any kind of solution to the competition concerns that have been identified. Google should implement the same ranking policy to all websites," it said.
It said it would comment further once it had fully evaluated the proposals.