Google is facing a second record fine from European regulators in another antitrust case, according to a Reuters report citing sources.
EU officials are reportedly looking for a second opinion on the case, which examines Google’s dominance in mobile with its Android operating system. To that end, they have asked a panel of experts known as “a devil’s advocate” to examine their conclusions.
Last year, the European Commission accused Google of using Android to skew the market against competitors.
It said tactics included requiring smartphone manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Google Browser, and barring manufacturers from using rival versions of Android.
It isn’t clear when the Commission will make its results on the Android case public.
The EU currently has two unresolved investigation into Google and its parent company Alphabet. One is the dominance of Android, and the second is the use of AdSense to cut out rival advertising tech.
Google’s European nightmare
Google’s €2.4 billion fine over Google Shopping was more than twice as large as the EU’s previous largest monopoly case.
And while that doesn’t mean much for Google’s bottom line — the company made $US90 billion (£70 billion) in revenue in 2016 — the three investigations spell more trouble for the company in Europe.
The Californian search engine faces potential disruption on three major fronts: the existing antitrust investigations, with the potential to be far more damaging to the company; the threat of lawsuits in national courts by companies allegedly harmed by Google’s businesses practices; and the hint of future European Commission investigations into other sections of the company.
On that first front, there’s the threat of more expensive fines.
On the second, the European Commission has made it easier for companies potentially damaged by Google’s dominance to try and win damages in court.
And on the third front, the Commission hinted during the Google Shopping investigation it might open up even more investigations.
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