Google has been locked in a legal battle with the European Union for nearly a decade. Now, after years of litigation, the antitrust case may finally be reaching its end.
According to a report from Reuters, the EU's antitrust case against Google and parent company, Alphabet, will make a final ruling in the next few months. The case, in question, has investigated whether or not Google used its internet dominance to promote its services at the expense of others. If found guilty of such abuse, Alphabet could be facing very heavy fines at the hands of the EU's antitrust regulators.
The case began back in 2010 when Google attracted the European Commission's attention for promoting its own shopping services at the expense of competitors. A second charge was raised last year when Google was accused of using its Android platform against competitors. A third charge was added as well, claiming that Google blocked competitors in online search ads.
"In the next few months, we will reach a decision on the Google cases, Google search, AdSense and to me the most interesting is Android," Tommaso Valletti, the EU commission's chief competition economist, said during a conference at the University of Oxford Centre for Competitive Law and Privacy.
EU vs. The Tech World
Google had already been told by the EU Commission that it was likely to be found guilty and fined for breaking EU antitrust rules. The fines could hit 10 percent for each case brought against Google.This could be a big hit for Google given the company's multibillion-dollar revenue, making $90 billion in 2016.
Google has denied the accusations in the past, saying that the systems in place make it easier for users to find what they need. That didn't stop the company from trying to settle the previous standing case out of court with Joaquín Almunia, predecessor to current EU competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager.
This isn't the first time that the EU Commission has gone after some of these tech conglomerates. Back in 2004, the EU brought similar charges to Microsoft, which resulted in Microsoft having to offer versions of Windows without Windows Media Player and offer options to other media players, not to mention paying the fines.
More recently, the EU has gone after Apple for its "questionable" tax practices, Amazon's e-book deals, and Facebook and Twitter for not handling hate speech quickly enough.