World Bulletin / News Desk
Google has presented detailed proposals to allay anti-competitive concerns about its business practices, the EU antitrust regulator said on Friday, in a move which brings the company a step closer to resolving a two-year investigation.
The European Commission has been investigating the world's most popular search engine following complaints from more than a dozen companies, including Microsoft, that Google has used its market power to block rivals.
Asked if he had received Google's proposal to resolve the matter, EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told Reuters: "Yes."
He declined to provide details on the proposal, adding only: "We are analyzing it."
The Commission, which acts as competition regulator in the 27-member European Union, is now expected to seek feedback from Google rivals and other interested parties.
Almunia told Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt in December his company had until this month to present a comprehensive offer to allay regulatory concerns and stave off a possible fine.
Such a penalty could be as much as 10 percent of global turnover if a company is found to be in breach of EU rules. That could mean $4 billion if there is no satisfactory resolution in Google's case.
The Commission has said Google may have favored its own search services over
Volatility eased as traders focused on the world economy and corporate earnings after a week dominated by the dramatic spike in tensions over North Korea, which triggered a global sell-off before prices bounced back Monday.
Investors greeted the more conciliatory tone after US stocks dropped three days in a row last week on President Donald Trump's vow of "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to pursue its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.
The ultra-conservative kingdom has moved to diversify its traditionally oil-dependent economy following a sharp fall in crude prices.
In its monthly report on the global oil market, the International Energy Agency said, however, that it believes the supply glut is easing, partly because demand is growing faster.
US stocks have been in retreat since President Donald Trump Tuesday issued a fiery warning to North Korea to halt its nuclear program.
The move by one of Japan's best-known firms greatly reduces the chance of an embarrassing delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index weakened by 0.5 percent to 7,503.39 points.
The approval by the European Commission comes just over two months after the European Central Bank -- which took on the role of the eurozone's banking supervisor in 2014 -- allowed the sale to go ahead for a symbolic fee of one euro.
BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell and Total have all published results in recent days, showing they pocketed $23 billion in net profit in the first half fo the year.
Higher cereal, sugar and dairy prices pushed food price index by 10.2 percent annually in July
HSBC was also a big riser, gaining three percent at £7.65 ($10, 8.5 euros) in late morning trade after the British banking giant announced a share buyback plan alongside a rise in first-half profits.
Both main crude contracts made strong gains, with WTI testing $50 a barrel for the first time since late May and Brent heading towards $53, while mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto saw their share price rise as commodities strengthened.