Shares of Google soared to an all-time high on Friday, as the company appears to be nearing a settlement of an antitrust investigation in Europe.
Google's stock rose 2.6% to close at $775.60, topping the all-time high of $774.38 it reached in October 2012. The stock went as high as $776.60.
Google(GOOG) has been the subject of a three-year European Union probe into its search business. Despite emerging scot free from a similar multi-year investigation in the United States last month, many industry analysts and antitrust experts had expected the European probe to be harder for Google to wriggle out of.
Antitrust laws are stricter in Europe, and Google maintains a 90% share of the search market there -- significantly higher than the two-thirds share it commands in the U.S.
The European Commission has only said that its reviewing Google's proposals that the company delivered to it on Friday, and no settlement has yet been reached. But if the solutions Google proposes are in any way similar to the voluntary concessions Google offered in the U.S., they won't have a noticeable impact on the company's business.
Google's stock has been on a tear during the past few months. The company continues to activate a million Android devices a day, has successfully expanded into the broadband, cable and wireless arenas and remains the dominant search engine. Despite more competition from Microsoft(MSFT) and Facebook(FB), neither has yet threatened Google's top spot.
Google investors apparently also don't seem to be too nervous about any changes that ex-Googler Marissa Mayer might be making at Yahoo. Mayer left Google to become CEO of Yahoo(YHOO) last year, and even though she has won praise for changes she's been making to try and turn around Yahoo, the company still has a long way to go before it challenges Google for the online advertising market lead.
The surging price of Google is also in stark contrast to the big decline in Apple(AAPL). Shares of Apple have plunged more than 35% since hitting an all-time high last September.
But concerns remain about Google, particularly with its mobile business. The amount that advertisers pay Google for clicks has continued to slip, and Google keeps losing money on its Motorola unit.
Google CEO Larry Page has said that he doesn't expect the cost-per-click issue to be a "long-term problem," but he also hasn't indicated when he thinks this figure would be more closely aligned with overall click growth.