After almost four years of battling against each other, Google and the European Commission have finally come to an agreement. The deal will see Google displaying ads from its rivals alongside advertisements for its own services. At least three competitors will end up vying for views each time a page loads; which three will be decided through a method that has not yet been revealed. Although the EC press release states that this will be “selected through an objective method”.
Complaints against Google’s method of favouring in advertising its own services over everyone else were brought to the EC back in November 2010, and there have been several concessions from the technology giant in trying to appease the Commission. As a result of these concessions, Google will give content providers an extensive opt-out from the use of their content in Google’s specialised search services if they so wish without being penalised; remove exclusivity requirements in its agreements with publishers for the provision of search advertisements; and remove restrictions on the ability for search advertising campaigns to be run on competing search advertising platforms.
The deal still requires approval from the original complainants before the Commission decides to make the agreement binding.