Exclusive-Google offers to settle EU antitrust probe into adtech – source

By Foo Yun Chee 

  BRUSSELS (Reuters) -Alphabet unit Google is seeking to settle an EU antitrust investigation into its digital advertising business, a person familiar with the matter said, a move that could help it stave off a disruptive, lengthy probe and a possible hefty fine. 

  EU antitrust cases have cost Google more than 8 billion euros ($9.4 billion) in fines in three different cases in the last decade and it has also been ordered to change its business practices to allow rivals to compete. 

  The world's most popular internet search engine found itself in the European Commission's crosshairs three months ago. 

  Google has made a proposal to the Commission, the person said, declining to provide details because of the sensitivity of the matter. 

  The Commission declined to comment. Google did not respond to several requests and phone calls for comment. 

  It remains to be seen whether European antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager is open to settlement talks which typically take months or even years before any agreement can be reached or they could stall mid-way. 

  ($1 = 0.8531 euros) 

  (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Emelia Sithole-Matarise) 

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