Settlement with the European Commission

Friday, February 14, 2014 | 4:00 PM

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Following three rounds of negotiations and significant concessions, we are glad to have now reached an agreement with the European Commission that addresses its competition concerns.

Commissioner Almunia laid out the details of that settlement at a press conference last week, including:

  • Changes to our AdSense terms to make it even easier for publishers to place ads on their sites from multiple providers;
  • Changes to our AdWords API terms to make it even easier for software providers to build tools for advertisers to manage campaigns across platforms;
  • New rules regarding how we will use website content in vertical search services; and
  • Changes to our UI that will give rival services significant prominence (and valuable screen space) on our search results pages. You can see what this looks like here.
In addition, our suggested changes have (unusually) been through two separate “market tests” which enabled the Commission to hear directly from a number of our competitors, as well as third parties. In response to their feedback, we made two rounds of significant further changes to our initial proposals. Today, to ensure that everyone understands the wide-ranging nature of this settlement, we are taking the (again unusual) step of publishing the full text of the agreement.

While this process has been challenging, we are pleased to have a resolution of these issues and look forward to a continued focus on providing new generations of great services for our users.

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