Google could be facing a multi-billion pound fine over its dominance of internet search in Europe just weeks after it was charged in relation to similar claims over its Android operating system
The fine, due to be handed out by competition chief Margrethe Vestager in the coming weeks according to the Telegraph, would finally wrap up a six year antitrust investigation into Google's powers by the European Commission (EC).
Google and Brussels have apparently failed to come to a deal more than a year after the EC filed formal charges and more than six since the two first clashed over claims by the watchdog that Google favours its own shopping services in search results. However, a source close to the company played down the report.
Vestager has taken a strong stance with Google, now under parent company Alphabet, moving more quickly on the case than her predecessor Joaquin Almunia who first set his sights on the firm in 2010. She opened a new investigation into Android last year, filing formal charges in April, just a year later.
The commission has the power to fine firms up to 10 per cent of profits, which could peg the fine as the highest ever dished out to a tech company, ahead of a €1bn (£835,000) fine imposed against Intel in 2009.
The action on search comes as Google faces renewed scrutiny on home turf. The US Federal Trade Commission may be considering reopening an investigation into its search dominance, according to reports, following Europe's harder line.
Google did not comment on the report.