Google seems to have relented in its long-running battle with the European Union over changing its search engine to more accurately reflect rival companies and services.
The EU's commissioner responsible for competition, Joaquin Almunia, has said that discussions have now reached "a key moment", as Google has made "a new offer" to change its search methods.
Almunia described "significant improvements on the table" with Google, adding that "the settlement route remains the best choice".
The EU's investigation into competitors' complaints that Google's search service has not been displaying rivals' material has been running since 2010.
Complaints ranged from Google's "auction-style" system for determining which links were displayed where on a Google search, appropriating content from others and accusations that Google would "retaliate" against competitors who chose to opt-out of Google's ability to appropriate content.
The company has also been criticised for preventing rivals using Google search to run and manage advertising campaigns. Almunia referred directly to this, saying that Google has now offered to "cease to impose any written or unwritten obligations" that would force publishers to source their requirements for advertising campaigns directly from Google when relating to search engine users in Europe.
Google has also apparently agreed to no longer interfere with advertisers managing search-engine based advertising campaigns across Google services and competing services.
Finally, and much like Apple in its recent patent-based run-ins with Samsung, Google has agreed to entertain an "independent monitoring trustee", who will assist the European Commission in upholding the various new rules it will be operating under.
Earlier this year, Microsoft was fined €485m in a similar EC antitrust investigation, finding itself facing such a large payout because it failed to keep promises similar to those Google is close to making.