Jun 5th, 2015

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Google’s troubles in the European Union are well-documented, with the latest happenings seeing the Mountain View company slapped with antitrust charges over how they promote products through their search engine.

Google set out to battle the allegations from day one, with a plan to show how your average Joe Schmo is just as visible in the Google Search rankings as the big guys. But Google’s European arm says they definitely aren’t perfect, and acknowledge that they do have a lot to learn about doing business over there.

“We don’t always get it right,” said Matt Britton, Google’s head of European affairs. “As far as Europe is concerned: we get it. We understand that people here are not the same in their attitudes to everything as people in America.”

And he’s right: that people on two different sides of one huge ocean are different is not some forbidden knowledge. Britton attributes much of Google’s missteps to not having a strong enough presence in the region (despite Google having many campuses situated all throughout). In particular, Britton himself expects he’ll be hitting the ground in Europe a lot more from now on — to the tune of once per month, at least — to make sure they’re well in-tune with local policy, culture and laws.

We’re not sure what that will say for the result of the charges against Google, but the company is apparently prepared to settle if the EU does, in fact, find them to be in violation of their antitrust laws. As it stands there is no full-fledged lawsuit or trial attached to this thing yet, but this sudden outcry of guilt seems to suggest Google won’t be able to simply brush this off and get on with their day.

[via Politico]