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Google's First Comments on European Mess: We Could Have Done Better

Google's European honcho tells Politico: "We don’t always get it right."

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Matt Brittin, Google’s president in Europe, has offered the company’s first public statement on the European Union antitrust charges leveled in April. And they’re contrite.

“We don’t always get it right,” Brittin told Politico in an interview published Thursday evening. “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.”

Back in April, the EU filed two cases against Google for anticompetitive practices with its comparative shopping service and Android. Google is seven weeks into the 10 it was allotted for a formal response.

In the interview, Brittin stressed Google’s disagreement with the charges, repeating the claims from its internal response that, with the explosion of mobile devices, the search engine is not nearly as dominant as it once was or is portrayed to be. Politico reports, however, that he said Google is open to a settlement, something those that have gone through the European regulatory wringer recommend.

Part of Google’s prolonged struggles across the Atlantic, he added, came from negligence. “We just didn’t have the people on the ground to be able to have some of those conversations as we grew,” he said.

Google reshuffled its European division in February, placing Brittin, an eight-year company veteran and former publishing exec, atop the newly consolidated operations. He oversees business for the continent, along with Africa and the Middle East, and is based in London, although he told Politico he is in Brussels at least once a month now.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.