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Google has been given until the end of the month to respond to the EU Commission over antitrust charges

Billy Bambrough
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Google's accused of using its Android mobile operating system to block competitors
Google's accused of using its Android mobile operating system to block competitors (Source: Getty)

Search giant Google has been given until the end of the month to respond to accusations the dominance of its mobile operating system Android is anti-competitive.

The deadline – the fourth extension that Google has been granted – is the latest twist in the long-running battle between the European Commission and Google over anti-competitive behaviour.

Over the weekend it was reported Brussels is considering a fine against the company, according to Reuters which has seen documents relating to the charges.

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It's thought the fine could potentially run into the billions of pounds. The maximum fine could see Google handed a bill of up to $7.4bn, or 10 per cent of its global turnover, for each case if it's found guilty of breaching EU rules.

Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso said in an email:

In each of these cases, Google asked for additional time to review the documents in the case file. In line with normal practice, the commission analysed the reasons for the request and granted an extension allowing Google to fully exercise its rights of defence.

In April the commission said Google forcing phone manufactures pre-install Google Search and the Google Chrome browser harmed competition.

A deadline for Google to respond was originally set for 27 July, though this was extended three times at Google's request. The last deadline was past on 20 September.

The new deadline is set for 31 October.

​"We believe that Android has increased competition, lowered prices, and benefited users, developers and phone manufacturers," Google said in a statement released previously on the matter.

"We look forward to showing the European Commission how our approach has made Android a successful and sustainable open-source ecosystem."

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Two other cases regarding online search advertising and shopping have deadlines for a response of 26 and 13 October.

In these cases Google has been accused of favouring its shopping service over those of rivals and blocking competitors in online search advertising.

The case has raised tensions between US authorities and Brussels, with officials in the US accusing Europe of unfairly targeting companies across the pond.

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