Google is reportedly offering to brand its search results to avoid the European Commission taking formal action against the company's alleged "abuse of dominance" in the search market. The Financial Times reports that Google is proposing to add its logo to products such as maps, airline flight details and other services that appear when people [...]

Google is reportedly offering to brand its search results to avoid the European Commission taking formal action against the company's alleged "abuse of dominance" in the search market. The Financial Times reports that Google is proposing to add its logo to products such as maps, airline flight details and other services that appear when people use the firm's search function.


Primarily this involves “labeling” its own services to distinguish them from other organic search results.
According to the FT, citing “people familiar with the search giant’s submission”:
“Under the proposal, Google would put its brand on any of its own maps, stock quotes, airline flight details or other pieces of information returned with search results. It is an attempt to resolve regulators’ fears that Google is unfairly squeezing out other specialist information services on the web.”
In September, Google was warned by the EC's antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia that it could still be hit by huge fines if it was found to have violated competition rules in Europe. At the time, the commissioner confirmed he was yet to be satisfied by the apparent concessions proposed by Google.
There are other areas of antitrust “concern” for the EU, most of which are easier to resolve than the issue of “Google ranking its own content” above those of competitor sites.
Yet there are many experts and legal scholars who believe that Google has no obligation to particular competitors in the market and that its search results rankings should be under its sole discretion.