BRUSSELS -- A group of technology and media companies on Tuesday ratcheted up pressure on the European antitrust authorities to reject a preliminary deal with Google and subject the search giant to far tougher terms involving search and advertising.
The companies are concerned that Google's proposals to settle the antitrust case being considered by the European Commission would enhance, rather than diminish, Google's reach. Google already accounts for more than 90 percent of Internet searches in some European Union countries and the vast majority of its revenue comes from advertising linked to search services.
"It would be better to do nothing than to accept Google's proposals," said Thomas Vinje of FairSearch, the coalition of Google rivals that held the news conference on Tuesday. "The proposals would make things worse rather than better," he said.
Joaquín Almunia, the E.U. antitrust commissioner, warned Google last month that he would probably need to ask for more concessions to satisfy the critics of the proposed settlement over whether its Internet search engine favored the company's own Web offerings to the detriment of competitors.
Google, having avoided antitrust charges in the United States, offered formal concessions in Europe early this year. The commission began so-called market testing of those concessions in April. If ultimately accepted by Mr. Almunia, the concessions would allow Google to avoid a finding of unlawful behavior and a possible fine of as much as 10 percent of its annual global revenue.
But Google's critics said Tuesday that the changes offered were not sufficient.
"This is self-advertising, what they are proposing here, nothing more and nothing less," said Moritz von Merveldt, the senior legal counsel at ProSiebenSat.1, a German broadcasting company in the online marketing field.
Mr. von Merveldt said his company was part of group that brought a case against Google in Germany alleging unfair online competition but is not directly involved in the European case.
Google has not indicated it would agree to make further concessions.
"Our proposals are meaningful and comprehensive," Kent Walker, a Google lawyer, said Monday in a blog post. Google had "focused on addressing the commission's specific concerns, and we think we did a pretty good job," he wrote.
In a barb apparently aimed at would-be rivals, Mr. Walker added that, "we build Google for users, not Web sites."
Many of those people speaking on Tuesday were involved directly or indirectly in the market testing of the remedies proposed by Google.
Christoph Klenner, the secretary general of the European Technology & Travel Services Association, which includes two members, Expedia and Odigeo, which have filed complaints against Google, said one proposal -- putting blue highlighted links to rival sites -- would be ineffective at encouraging users to click on alternatives.
"The conversion rate of those blue links is absolutely insignificant," Mr. Klenner said. He declined to give further details on the study carried out by a member of the association. He asserted that other solutions proposed by Google, like labeling search results on which Google makes money, would have "no significant impact" and that "the only thing that really counts in search is the position on the search result page."
Michael Weber, the director of an online mapping service called hot-map.com in Hanover, Germany, criticized the way the E.U. inquiry was being conducted.
Mr. Weber said that a previous study conducted with German academics that used eye tracking, to test if placements of Google's own services had a strong effect on user choices, showed that only about 20 percent of users clicked on alternatives to Google Maps.
Mr. Weber said he wanted to conduct a follow-up study after market testing began in April. But "we were initially only given one month to respond and you can't do a serious scientific study that's big enough and also diverse enough to represent" European consumers in that time frame, he said.interact
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.