The EU is set to fine United States internet giant Google several billion euros this week for freezing out rivals of its Android mobile phone system, sources said, in a ruling that risks fresh tensions with Washington.
Google has denied any wrongdoing, issuing a statement that the commission's case is flawed as it didn't include Apple's iOS as a serious rival to Android, as it can not be installed on rival firms' smartphones.
Two European sources told AFP the fine would be "several billion euros" without giving further details.
This past March, European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said she harboured "grave concerns" over Google's Internet dominance, and the regulatory body she leads was exploring breaking Google into smaller entities to protect competition. The Commission is expected to fine more than £2.1 billion, which as the sum it fined Google in 2016 over unfairly favouring its own Shopping Comparison tool over competitors'.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
"Android has created more choice for everyone, not less", Google spokesman Al Verney said in a statement. "This free distribution is an efficient solution for everyone - it lowers prices for phone makers and consumers, while still letting us sustain our substantial investment in Android and Play".
They also sign agreements not to sell devices on rival Android systems and also pay smartphone manufacturers to only pre-install Google Search on devices.
The European Commission's decision, delayed by a week by US President Donald Trump's visit to a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels last week, is expected on Wednesday.
In addition to a fine, European regulators could order Google to abandon those practices to level the playing field.
The European Commission has the power to fine Alphabet, Google's Parent company up to 10% of their annual revenue.
With Microsoft however increasingly building their platform on Android, the ability to offer competing services without losing access to the Google Play Store, for example, would be an ideal solution, allowing Microsoft for example to partner with OEMs such as Samsung to replace the Google Search bar with Bing and Google Mail with Outlook.
As well as the Android and Google Shopping files, it also has a third investigation under way, into Google's AdSense advert-placing business.
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