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Google faces EU deadline

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Google can be fined up to 10% of its global turnover for each case if found guilty.
Google can be fined up to 10% of its global turnover for each case if found guilty.

Alphabet's Google has been given until the end of October, the fourth extension, to rebut EU anti-trust charges that it uses its dominant Android mobile operating system to block competitors, the European Commission said yesterday.

The commission in April said the US technology giant's demand that mobile phone makers pre-install Google Search and the Google Chrome browser on their smartphones to access other Google apps harms consumers and competition.

The EU watchdog had initially set a 27 July deadline for Google to respond to the charges. This had been extended three times at the company's request, with the previous deadline on 20 September.

The new deadlines are 31 October for the Android case and 26 October and 13 October for cases relating to online search advertising and shopping.

In the shopping case, Google has been accused of favouring its shopping service over those of rivals in Internet search results while the AdSense case centres on the company's measures which block competitors in online search advertising.

"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," commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso said in an e-mail.

The EU anti-trust enforcer intends to hit the company with deterrent fines in the Android and shopping cases, according to charge sheets seen by Reuters.

Google can be fined up to $7.4 billion, or 10% of its global turnover, for each case if found guilty of breaching EU rules.

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