European commission takes preliminary view that Google abused its mobile operating systems dominant position
The EU has accused Google of skewing the market against competitors with its Android mobile operating system.
Margrethe Vestager, the EU competition chief, said the European commission had taken the preliminary view that Google had abused its dominant position, following an initial one-year investigation.
What we found is that Google pursues an overall strategy on mobile devices to protect and expand its dominant position in internet search, Vestager said.
The commission is concerned that Googles behaviour has harmed consumers by restricting competition and innovation, she added. Rival search engines and mobile operating systems have not been able to compete on their merits. This is not good.
The company has 12 weeks to respond to the commissions charge sheet, known as a statement of objections. The full investigation is likely to last many months. If Brussels upholds the complaint, Google could be fined up to $7.4bn (5.8bn), the equivalent of 10% of its global revenue.
Google has mounted a robust defence of its open-source Android operating system and argues that users are free to delete Google apps. In a statement the internet corporation said its business model keeps manufacturers costs low and their flexibility high, while giving consumers unprecedented control of their mobile devices.