European Union to File Antitrust Charges Against Google - The Biggest Competition Battle in Brussels

By Updated at 2015-04-14 20:14:21 +0000


Brussels - Europe’s antitrust regulator has decided to file formal charges against Google Inc. for violating the bloc’s antitrust laws, stepping up a five-year investigation that is set to become one of the biggest competition battles in Brussels.

The European Union will accuse Google on Wednesday of abusing its dominant position in Internet searches in Europe, stepping up its high profile five-year investigation of the company, the Financial Times and Dow Jones reported on Tuesday.

The EU's Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager will say on Wednesday that Google will soon be served with a statement of objections, or charge sheet, setting out how it breached competition law by diverting traffic from rivals to favour its own services, the FT said.

A European Commission spokesman declined comment on the reports.

Vestager, who is due to fly to the United States on Wednesday afternoon, will make a statement after the weekly meeting of all 28 EU commissioners in the morning, the FT said.

That followed a comment on Monday by another commissioner, digital economy chief Guenther Oettinger, who said Vestager would make a statement on Google in days.

Google did not respond to immediate requests for comment.

Google faces fines of as much as $6.6 billion if the charges are proven.

Copyright: Reuters (Reporting by Julia Fioretti, Francesco Guarascio and Tom Koerkemeier, additional reporting by Yasmeen Abutaleb in New York; editing by Philippa Fletcher)