NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Google Inc. (GOOGL) are slightly lower at $594 in pre-market trade after the technology company was told it must improve its proposal to settle EU concerns over its search practices or face formal antitrust charges, according to the EU's competition chief Joaquin Almunia, the Wall Street Journal reports.
In a sometimes heated debate with European lawmakers, Almunia defended his agency's handling of its four-year-old investigation of Google, and insisted he hasn't been swayed by mounting political pressure, the Journal said.
The commission asked Google earlier this month to improve its settlement proposal for an unprecedented fourth time after deciding that the previous offer, announced in February, didn't satisfy its concerns, Almunia said.
If Google fails to deliver the necessary changes, "the logical next step is to move to a statement of objections," or formal charges against the company, Almunia added, according to the Journal.
TheStreet Ratings team rates GOOGLE INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate GOOGLE INC (GOOGL) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."