European regulators have charged Google with violating antitrust rules by unfairly using Android to promote its own services, such as search and the Chrome browser. “Google has abused its dominant position,” Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s competition chief, said. “Google’s behavior has harmed consumers by restricting innovation in the wider mobile space.” More specifically, the officials say that paying subsidies to telecommunications providers and smartphone manufacturers who promoted Google services was uncompetitive.
Google now has several months to respond to the charges. If it is eventually found guilty of breaking European rules, it faces fines up to 10 percent of its global revenue.
The search giant is denying the charges. “We take these concerns seriously,” Kent Walker, Google’s general counsel, said in a statement. “But we also believe that our business model keeps manufacturers’ costs low and their flexibility high, while giving consumers unprecedented control of their mobile devices.”