The European Union is considering slapping Google with another record fine — this time for the tech titan’s conduct with mobile operating systems, apps and services.
The European Commission, which is leading the investigation into Google’s Android OS rules, has put together a panel of experts to give a second opinion on the case, sources told Reuters.
The news comes just one week after the Commission levied a record-breaking fine of $2.7 billion against Google for violating EU anti-trust laws with its comparison shopping service.
As Reuters pointed out, if the panel agrees with the conclusions reached by the Commission’s investigative team, Google is likely to get slapped with another massive fine by year’s end.
Neither Google nor the Commission would comment on the report.
The Commission filed charges against Google, accusing the tech giant of breaching anti-trust law with its Android operating system, last April. The Commission has accused Google of hindering the development and market access of rival mobile operating systems, applications and services, disadvantaging consumers and developers.
“A competitive mobile internet sector is increasingly important for consumers and businesses in Europe. Based on our investigation thus far, we believe that Google’s behavior denies consumers a wider choice of mobile apps and services and stands in the way of innovation by other players, in breach of EU antitrust rules,” Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a press release after formally charging Google. “These rules apply to all companies active in Europe.”
The investigation stems from a joint complaint lodged with the European Union by FairSearch, a group of 17 technology and search companies that includes Microsoft, Expedia, Oracle and Nokia.
FairSearch accused Google of attempting to “cement its control over consumer Internet data for online advertising as usage shifts to mobile.” The coalition has asked the EU to fine the technology giant, force it to change its practices or both.