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Google Claim EU Restrictions on Search Will Hurt Innovation

Google has warned the European Union that its proposed regulations would harm the potential advances in online search over the next few years.

The Euroepan Commission has tried to address anti-competition concerns by asking Google to develop its own voluntary concessions, which the search engine giant presented to the Commission in April.

These included labelling Google's own products in search results, and showing links to rivals' websites alongside its own services when providing a direct answer to a user query.

However, it is expected that the EC will ask Google to review and improve these proposals, as competitors argue that the planned concessions will only serve to squeeze them further out of the market.

Amit Singhal, a senior vice president at Google, said on Monday that significant restrictions on how Google operates would hold back innovations that promise to make online search much more useful.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Singhal said: "We're building the search of the future. We are getting closer to the vision of talking to Google and asking anything you want to know.

"It would really hurt innovation if you freeze things as they are today."

Some of Google's critics have attacked the proposed regulations, claiming tighter rules are needed in order to give rival companies a chance to rank highly in search results. Google has labelled this pursuit for so-called search neutrality as "unrealistic", due to the need for search engines to prioritise its answers.

Singhal said: "Not everyone can be at the top of search results. There will always be someone who will not be at the top who will be unhappy and complaining."


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