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The Boston Globe

Business

EU says Google has made antitrust offer

BRUSSELS — European Union officials said Friday that Google had submitted proposals aimed at ending a three-year antitrust case focused on its hugely popular online search service. But an industry group allied with companies that compete with Google immediately called for caution.

‘‘To be seen as a success, any settlement must include specific measures to restore competition and allow other parties to compete effectively on a level playing field,’’ David Wood, legal counsel for ICOMP, a group backed by Microsoft, said in a statement.

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Michael Weber, chief executive of an online mapping service called hot-map.com based in Germany, said he hoped the offer by Google was ‘‘enough to restore competition’’ but, ‘‘if not, we will take into account all legal options we have and we won’t hesitate to use them.’’

Companies that have complained against Google in Europe will have the option to sue the European Commission, the Union’s executive arm, at the General Court of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg for failing to push hard enough for an effective solution.

Neither the company nor European officials were willing Friday to describe the settlement proposals. But it had been expected that Google would offer revisions to the way it conducts its online search business in Europe to address regulators’ concerns that the company’s activities are unfair to other Web publishers and its online competitors.

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