Google accused of artificially favoring its own shopping service and has 10 weeks to respond to charges.
BRUSSELS (AA) – The European Union accused Google Inc. on Wednesday of favoring its own shopping services and also launched a probe into the company’s conduct in relation to its Android mobile operating system.
“Our preliminary view is that in its general Internet search result, Google artificially favors its own shopping service and this constitutes abuse,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday.
“I have also launched a formal antitrust investigation of Google’s conduct concerning mobile operating systems, apps and services,” Vestagar said in a statement released earlier on Wednesday. “Smartphones, tablets and similar devices play an increasing role in many people’s daily lives and I want to make sure the markets in this area can flourish without anticompetitive constraints imposed by any company.”
Vestager said Google has 10 weeks to respond to the charges.
“I will carefully consider response before deciding (on) how to proceed,” Vestager told reporters.
The EU launched a probe against Google in 2010 on the basis of the search engine giant’s alleged abuse of market share by favoring its own products.
Google is more dominant in Europe than in the U.S. with around 90 percent of the market in some EU member states.
The company could face fines exceeding $6 billion.