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Google makes proposals to EU regulators, hopes to end antitrust probe

Google Inc. has outlined proposals to European Union regulators in an effort to end an antitrust investigation into allegations that the operator of the world's largest search engine discriminates against rivals, Bloomberg has reported. The settlement offer sent by Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt to EU antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia, addresses the "four areas the European Commission described" as potential concerns, Google spokesman Al Verney said. Details of the proposals weren't disclosed. Last May, Almunia asked Google to make an offer to settle concerns it promotes its own specialist search services, copies rivals' travel and restaurant reviews, and that agreements with websites and software developers stifle competition in the advertising industry. The antitrust complaint could lead to a fine or limits on conduct, if the proposal was unsatisfactory, Almunia said.