The European Union appears to be closer to agreement with Google about anti-trust concerns relating to search, and action seems likely to happen in January. Meanwhile, the expected US Federal Trade Commission ruling that was supposed to happen before the end of this year now looks delayed into at least next month.
Multiple sources are reporting that the EU and Google are nearing an agreement, with the matter to be settled in January. From Bloomberg:
“I have decided to continue with the process towards reaching an agreement” to settle the investigation, [EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin] Almunia said in an e-mailed statement. “Since our preliminary talks with Google started in July, we have substantially reduced our differences.”
Bloomberg’s story also said that Almunia expected to get a “detailed commitment text” from Google next month, in January. Reuters reports the same. The statement came after a meeting with Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt.
AllThingsD has the full statement that was released (though has yet to be posted on Alumnia’s site), and author Liz Gannes also says that the expected FTC ruling will “likely be tomorrow,” presumably according to sources she’s talking with.
However, a few hours after we posted, Bloomberg reported that the FTC decision isn’t likely to happen until next year, citing two unnamed sources. We’ve updated our headline to reflect this.
For more, see our story from yesterday: