Google submitted a formal settlement offer to the European Union today, in a move to end the EU's two-year probe into allegedly anti-competitive behavior by the company. Google is answering allegations that it promotes its own services through search and has colluded to stifle competition in the advertising market. As one EU commissioner told Bloomberg, "To avoid abuse we need to guarantee that users of the search engine have a choice and that search results have the highest possible quality."
The next step is something called a "market test," in which the commissioners will test the response to Google's proposal from various competitors, including the firm that originally leveled the complaint. Based on that response, the commission will decide whether or not to accept the proposal. The commission hopes to resolve the probe by the end of the year.